A conference discussing the merits of genetically modified crops took place Sunday at Cairo University’s Faculty of Agriculture.
Organized in cooperation with the Egyptian Biotechnology Information Center, the four-hour talk came two weeks after Greenpeace Arab World pointed to inconsistencies in a report promoting the use of agricultural biotechnology.
The report ranked Egypt third in Africa in terms of the use of genetically modified crops.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, funded by multinational biotechnology companies Monsanto and Bayer AG, as well as US government agencies USAID and the US Department of Agriculture, reported in early March that 1,000 hectares of genetically modified maize was being grown on Egyptian soil.
This contradicted an Agriculture Ministry statement last year that said it had seized and destroyed the latest shipment of 40 tons of genetically modified maize entering Egypt in January last year because it had not been approved by authorities.
The genetically modified maize is a Monsanto product called MON810 engineered to secrete its own insecticide. Ninety-five percent of all genetically modified crops planted worldwide since the mid-1990s have been engineered by Monsanto. The most common crops are canola, corn, soybeans and cotton.
At Sunday’s conference, dozens of students, professors and academics with agricultural and zoological backgrounds convened to discuss the global status of commercialized biotechnology, genetically modified crops’ latest applications and biosafety regulations as well as intellectual property rights in Egypt.
Louise SarantRana Khaled / Egypt independentMore : http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/egyptian-proponents-biotech-agriculture-discuss-merits-genetically-modified-crops?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter