CIMMYT has been awarded an Excellence Through Stewardship (ETS) certificate of achievement for successfully completing the ETS audit requirements for its operations in Mexico and Kenya. ETS is a global, not-for-profit industry-coordinated organization dedicated to “promote the responsible management of agricultural technology, through encouraging product stewardship and quality management systems practices and by educating the public.” The ETS audit was an independent third-party review of CIMMYT’s quality management system and standard operating procedures (SOP) for transgenic research. “The successful ETS certification is an important milestone in implementing and modeling – teaching and demonstrating – responsible stewardship of transgenic research,” according to Kevin Pixley, Director of CIMMYT’s Genetic Resources Program. CIMMYT is the first CGIAR center to achieve ETS certification.
CIMMYT has had a clear policy guiding its work in transgenic crops since the mid 2000s. Principles include respecting sovereignty and safety and assisting partners to responsibly avail the technologies, if their countries have the legal framework and regulatory capacity and if they request CIMMYT collaboration or assistance. Transgenic research is a small part of CIMMYT’s breeding portfolio and no CIMMYT-derived wheat or maize variety currently sown by farmers is transgenic. CIMMYT’s involvement in transgenic research can help ensure that transgenic crops remain an accessible option for resource-poor farmers.