The European Coexistence Bureau: Five Years’ Experience
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The European Coexistence Bureau (ECoB) was established in 2008 to help European Union member states identify best practices for technical segregation measures between GM and non-GM crops and, on these bases,develop guidelines for crop-specific measures for coexistence. The ECoB works with EU mem- ber states’ experts, managed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre staff; the ECoB works in consultation with stakeholders. The ECoB deals with best practices of coexistence at the technical and agronomic level, excluding related administrative or legal issues. Since its establishment, the ECoB has focused on coexistence in GM maize production, since this remains the only GM crop cultivated in EU countries. The ECoB has produced Best Practice Documents (BPDs) for (i) coexistence of GM maize crop production with conventional and organic farming, (ii) monitoring efficiency of coexistence measures in maize crop production, and (iii) coexistence of GM maize and honey production. An overview on similar efforts and expert groups, which are beginning to appear outside the Euro- pean Union (United States, Canada, and Brazil) for development of coexistence guidelines, is also presented.