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In 2008, Egypt reached an agreement with the US-based Monsanto Corporation to import, grow and sell the company's genetically-modified maize. The first shipment of 70 tons arrived in Egypt in December 2010 and was planted in ten governorates without restriction on planting. The second and most recent shipment of 40 tons arrived in January 2012, but was seized by the Ministry of Agriculture because it was not properly approved. 'The January shipment has been imported without the formal approval from the Ministry of Environment, the agency that should approve imported genetically-modified organisms (GMOs),' said Osama El Tayeb, a microbiology and immunology professor.