LATEST NEWS
   
 



   Search News

    News Archive

  You are here: Home >> News >> Egypt approves commercialization of first GM crop


Egypt
Egypt approves commercialization of first GM crop
by Wagdy Sawahel
13-May-2008 SciDev Net
View Source

[CAIRO] Egypt has approved the cultivation and commercialisation of a Bt maize variety, marking the first legal introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops into the country.

A report last month (16 April) from the US Department of Agriculture, noted that the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture had "approved decisions made by the National Biosafety Committee and Seed Registration Committee to allow for commercialisation of a genetically modified Bt corn variety".

The endorsement was based on a series of field trials conducted between 2002 and 2007 for the variety MON 810, produced by biotechnology company Monsanto. Bt crops produce a toxin that guards against pests.

The variety to be distributed, Ajeeb-YG, is a cross between MON 810 and an Egyptian maize variety with resistance to three corn borer pests, developed by Monsanto scientists in South Africa — currently the only African country planting GM crops commercially.

Cairo-based company Fine Seeds International is partnering with Monsanto to distribute the variety in Egypt.

Ahmad Yaseen, an agricultural engineer at Fine Seeds, says the seeds will be available this month to farmers in ten Egyptian governorates.

Yaseen said the seeds will initially be imported from South Africa, but "starting from next year, Ajeeb-YG will be produced in Egypt".

Amr Farouk Abdelkhalik, an Egyptian biotechnologist and regional coordinator of the Agricultural Biotechnology Network in Africa, says the new variety "points to the potential agronomic and environmental benefits of Bt maize in Egyptian cropping systems and accordingly the reduction of the massive use of pesticides".

"We should develop our own GM plants using our genes and technology to protect small-scale farmers," he added.

Magdi Tawfik Abdelhamid, a plant biotechnologist at the National Research Centre in Cairo, expressed concerns about the long-term effects of the crop.

He says research on the issues surrounding GM crops "must be conducted in Egypt, and an in-depth assessment must be carried out to examine the impact of GM plants on small-scale farmers".

Egypt currently has no official biosafety legislation, though a regulatory framework exists. Hisham El-Shishtawy from the National Biosafety Committee secretariat told SciDev.Net that the existing framework follows the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and encompasses ministerial decrees regulating the registration of GM seeds.

comments powered by Disqus
 
Philippines
  Biofuels won't cause food crisis, says expert
  Ateneo studes come up with bioethanol from rice straws
  Golden rice: First field tests in the Philippines
  More rice with less water
  PCARRD-DOST urges adoption of makapuno embryo culture tech
  The 'monster' unmasked
  'Lumot' seen as source of biodiesel
  Philippine gov't denies Greenpeace claim of GMO contamination in US rice
  9 scientists, NGO get biotech awards
  Ecology group sounds alarm over GMO rice
  Greenpeace questions GMO policy
  Asean looks at RP as 'test case' in implementing biofuels policy
  Philippine biofuels law a model for other countries
  RP, IRRI join forces to attain rice self-sufficiency by 2010
 
China
  Biofortification for China: Political responses to food fortification and GM technology, interest groups, and possible strategies
  China experts identify gene for yield, height in rice
 
Korea
  Mandatory GMO labeling is the best solution - Korea
  South Korea begins imports of biotech corn
 
Pakistan
  Scientists urged to safeguard agri resources
 
Egypt
  Egypt approves commercialization of first GM crop
 
Africa
  Could GM crops help feed Africa?
 
Europe
  French lawmakers pass bill on GM crops
 
Global
  Biotechnology could help solve food crisis, Monsanto asserts
  Cutting edge science helps the poor overcome soaring food prices
  International day of biological diversity
  Thousand gather for meeting on UN-backed treaty biosafety
  Agriculture in the 21st century
  Biotech solutions for food and fuel highlighted at world congress on industrial biotechnology
  More news..
   


SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center
UPLB Campus 4031, Los Baños, Laguna, PHILIPPINES
Telephone +6349 536 2290 ext. 406 / 169 / 135
Fax +6349 536 4105
E-mail bic@agri.searca.org

SEARCA BIC is one of the biotechnology information nodes of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications Global Knowledge Center (ISAAA KC) and hosted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). It was officially established in 2000 to address the needs of the region for a highly credible, sound and factual biotechnology information center in the Southeast Asian region accessible to various stakeholders.

Empowerment through shared information.


Quick Links: About Us     |     Our Activities     |     Events & Announcements     |     Media Releases     |     News     |    Publications &  Information Resources     |      Photobank     |     Other Resources

Contact Us         |     Sign-up to SEARCA BIC E-news Service (e-mail newsletter)


© 2000 - 2012 SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center. All Rights Reserved.