In 2011 the European Commission published a report on the socio-economic implications of the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) describing the state of knowledge. The report called for an advanced reflection at the 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
One of the initiatives towards this goal was the creation of the European GMO Socio-Economics Bureau (ESEB). The ESEB consists of scientific experts nominated by the Member States and experts from the European Commission.
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 Member States and the Commission. The Bureau develops Reference Documents that enable a science-based assessment of these impacts in the Member States and the across the EU.
The ESEB secretariat works in close collaboration with DG SANCO and is hosted by the Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in Seville.