Report of the Eighth Meeting of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee
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Report of the eighth meeting of the Genetic Resources Policy Committee (GRPC) held in Washington DC on October 20, 1998. The Committee endorsed three documents, attached as annexes, to aid in the implementation of center "in trust" agreements with FAO: Guidelines for the Designation of Accessions; a new Material Transfer Agreement (MTA); and a Second Joint Statement on the Agreement Placing CGIAR Germplasm Collections under the Auspices of FAO.The Committee discussed problems of the definition of germplasm, in relation to derivatives, as an input to the proposed revision by the CDC of the CGIAR IPR guidelines. It expressed agreement with most of the recommendations of the external review of the SGRP, called attention to resource implications, and highlighted the need for a database of relevant national policies and laws. It supported in principle the proposal of the System Review concerning the concept of integrated gene management, and urged rapid creation of a central advisory and referral service dealing with legal and contractual aspects of IPR. Picking up the System Review statement that the GRPC function should continue, the Committee suggested that a new committee replace it, with functions as proposed by IPGRI in its response to the SGRP external review.The GRPC endorsed a statement banning genetic systems designed to prevent seed germination (terminator) from CGIAR germplasm. It also endorsed convening a consultation on minor and underutilized crops at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. After a briefing on the incomplete negotiations at FAO for revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, the GRPC noted potential dangers for the centers should a multilateral system of access and benefit sharing not emerge.Agenda document at the CGIAR meeting in October 1998.