Report of the Eighth Meeting of the CGIAR Private Sector Committee and Comments on the Reports of the Biotechnology and Proprietary Science Panels
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Two documents presented by the Private Sector Committee (PSC) at the CGIAR Mid Term Meeting in May 1998. The Committee commented on the reports of the CGIAR Panel on General Issues in Biotechnology and of the CGIAR Panel on Proprietary Science and Technology were transmitted by Chairman Sam Dryden, Jr. The comments sought to define the agribusiness industry's interests in CGIAR policies on biotechnology, and to provide the CGIAR with private sector feedback in its development of new legal and policy frameworks to accommodate the increasingly proprietary nature of agricultural biotechnology.PSC comments on the Biotechnology Panel's report stressed the CGIAR's advocacy role on behalf of poor farmers in the international debate on biotechnology and bioethics; the need for the CGIAR to develop its capacity for biotechnology research quickly; and the potential of CGIAR training to bring biotechnology to the adaptive research of NARS. Comments on the Proprietary Science Panel's report expressed concern about the lack of real progress toward a concrete and definable CGIAR position on proprietary science and technology. The PSC endorsed the report's recommendation to establish a central function to provide legal expertise on intellectual property.The report of the eighth meeting of the PSC, held at FAO Headquarters in Rome on March 10-11, 1998, discussed the panel reports, and set up a working group to formalize its comments. It also considered a progress report on a CGIAR Secretariat study of partnerships and networks. The Committee interacted at length with FAO officials, and with IPGRI and the chair of the SGRP review.