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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Discuss Upcoming Biosafety Law in Egypt

July 19, 2017

A one-day workshop on biosafety was held at Academy of Scientific Research and Technology on July 9, 2017 under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Abdel Monem ElBanna, the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and Prof. Mahmoud Sakr, President of ASRT.

In his speech Prof. Dr. Hamdi Abdel Aziz, Vice President of the Executive Committee of the National Strategy for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering emphasized the importance of the technology, stressing that genetic engineering should be a priority within the interest of Egypt. He added, "research and development also require government support to scientific research in Egypt in order to access alternative or innovative products to solve the problems of agriculture." He also assured that Egypt has developed a scientific base that is fully qualified in terms of expertise and possibilities to deal with these products for the benefit of the country. Prof. Hamdi added, "Scientific research should not be carried out of fear, rather, it is necessary to have legal systems governing the circulation of these products in Egypt. There is consensus in international forums that the products of genetic engineering are completely safe. Prof. Hamdi concluded that safety is ensured by providing clear information with a transparent manner about these products.

A presentation was given by Prof. Naglaa Abdallah, Director of EBIC on the global status of biotech/GM crops and the new breeding techniques for crop improvement. She gave a comprehensive talk about CRISPR-Cas9 as a new, cost-effective, quick and safe technique which could be used with all living organisms.

The meeting was attended by 50 top scientists and stakeholders that are connected with the biosafety law in Egypt. The biosafety law is expected to be released by the end of this year.

For more information, contact Prof. Naglaa Abdallah at naglaa.abdallah@agr.cu.edu.eg.