GASC permits entry of wheat shipment containing traces of ergot fungi above regulatory limit

Shaimaa Al-Aees
2 Min Read
Egypt bought approximately 3.9m tonnes of wheat on the local market from farmers since the beginning of the harvest season in mid-April (AFP Photo)

By Shaimaa Al-Aees and Basma Tharwat

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) agreed to import a 63,000 tonne shipment of wheat from France, containing a 0.05% trace of ergot fungi, which exceeds the 6 January regulation. The regulation was made by the agricultural quarantine authority that prohibited imports of wheat that contain any trace of the common wheat fungus, according to GASC Vice President Mamdouh Abdel Fattah.

GASC, Egypt’s state grain buyer, adheres to a different regulatory percentage in the level of ergot fungus, permitting wheat ships with a 0.05% trace amount. Abdel Fattah told Daily News Egypt that the shipment was approved and permissible by the Ministry of Health on 30 December 2015.

He said the quantities of wheat, which are imported, should be approved by the tripartite committee of General Organisation for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) at the Ministry of Industry, which is composed of members from the Ministry of Agriculture, GOEIC, and the Ministry of Health.

The Central Administration of Agricultural Quarantine refused a shipment of French wheat in December because it contained traces of ergot fungi. Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world, importing 3.7m tonnes in 2014, according to Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafi.

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