The task of the Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification (Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification )) is to advise the Minister of IenW Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management ), either at the minister’s request or on its own initiative, with regard to the risks of GMOs for people and the environment.
COGEM offers advice with regard to the risks of the manufacture and application of GMOs, and on the safety measures that must be taken to protect people and the environment. With regard to gene therapy applications, COGEM does not advise on the possible risks for patients. The commission provides advice with regard to the risks of infection and transmission of GMOs for the staff involved in treatment, family members and others. Another of COGEM’s tasks is to inform the ministers involved about the ethical and social aspects of activities with GMOs. For permit applications relating to the introduction of GMOs into the environment (including gene therapy), in most cases the Minister of IenW will request advice from COGEM in the draft decision phase. The task of COGEM is laid down in the Environmental Management Act and is described in more detail in the Integral Policy Document on Biotechnology.