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Food Safety

Socio-economic considerations

The Environment Council asked the EU countries on 4 December 2008 to collect and exchange relevant information on the socio-economic implications of GMO cultivation across the food chain.

It also asked the Commission to prepare, on the basis of this information, a report for due consideration and further discussion.

The Commission collected the contributions from the Member States and issued a report in April 2011

The Commission report called for an advanced reflection at European level, with sound scientific basis, with the objective of:

  • Defining a robust set of indicators to capture the socio-economic consequences of the cultivation of GMOs from seed production to consumers across the European Union

  • Exploring approaches to make use of the increased understanding of these socio-economic factors in the management of GMO cultivation

To follow up on these conclusions the Commission set up a technical working group (the "European GMO Socio-Economic Bureau" – ESEB), composed of scientific experts from EU countries and hosted by the Joint Research Center of the Commission in Sevilla.

The mission of the ESEB is to organise and facilitate the exchange of technical and scientific information regarding the socio-economic implications of the cultivation and use of GMOs between EU countries and the Commission.

The Bureau develops Reference Documents that enable a science-based assessment of these impacts in EU countries and the across the EU.

More information on the objectives, work programme and deliverables of the ESEB can be found on the ESEB website.

Contributions from the EU countries on socio economic impacts of GMOs

Other contributions: