CAIRO: The General Agency for Supply Commodities has refuted allegations that imported wheat intended for animal feed and unfit for human consumption has been used in making bread in Egypt.
Members of parliament have claimed that a recent batch of wheat imported from European countries was found to be unfit for human consumption, and is actually used in animal feed, but has been baked into the bread millions of Egyptians consume everyday.
The allegations resulted in a public outcry as several authorities denied responsibility of the decision to allow this wheat to enter the Egyptian market.
In a statement to Daily News Egypt, the General Agency for Supply Commodities (GASC), under the authority of the Ministry of Trade, said that Egypt’s bids in international tenders to buy wheat from different countries are in line with international standards.
GASC contested recent news reports claiming that the imported wheat was intended to be used in animal fodder.
The allegations have centered on the wheat imported from Ukraine, which, according to GASC, only amounts to 25 percent of the total imports. The agency added that Egypt, England, Spain, Italy, India and Jordan have been importing wheat from the Ukraine for years. Egypt also imports wheat from the United States, Russia, Kazakhstan, France and Canada and does not depend on one sole supplier, GASC said.
The Administrative Control Authority has launched an investigation into the matter, reported Al-Masry Al-Youm daily.
Salah Hilal, professor at the Agricultural Research Center (ARC), told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Egyptian standards are flawed, especially when it comes to wheat imports.
While press reports claim that the wheat is not fit for human consumption, GASC said its wheat tenders are conducted in accordance with Egyptian standards, which comply with those set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The local standards were collectively set by several bodies such as the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Ministry of Health’s central labs, the National Nutrition Institute, the General Organization for Export and Import Control, among others who are responsible to approve imported wheat.