COGEM provides scientific advice to the government on the risks to human health and the environment of the production and use of GMOs and informs the government of ethical and societal issues linked to genetic modification.
As of November 1, 2013, Prof. dr. ing. Sybe Schaap is the new Chairman of the COGEM for a period of four years. He succeeds Prof. dr. in. Bastiaan C.J. Zoeteman.
Sybe Schaap (1946) is a member of the Dutch Senate for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Dutch: Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, VVD) since 2007. He is a political philosopher and Professor Emeritus Water Policy and Governance at the Technical University of Delft and Wageningen University. Previous positions include dike-warden and Chairman of the Association of Water Authorities, teacher of philosophy and farmer.