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April 27, 2008

Egypt gives first approval of commercial GM maize seed cultivation

On March 24, 2008, the Minister of Agriculture of Egypt approved decisions made by the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and Seed Registration Committee to allow for commercialization of a genetically modified Bt corn variety.

This marks the first genetically modified crop approved for domestic planting in Egypt. A local seed company, acting as an agent of a multi-national life science company, had originally submitted the request and accompanying dossier several years ago.

During last year’s growing season, the field trials were conducted and assessed. The local company plans to import seed both for propagation and production.

The seed corn will be imported from South Africa. The local company plans to cultivate the
BT corn in 10 governates throughout Egypt and has already started a campaign to market
the seed to producers and extension agents.


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