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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Courts moves wheat inspection system back to Agriculture Ministry’s quarantine system

Back to the days of the ergot ban?A court ordered yesterday the suspension of the inspection system put in place last year for agricultural commodities including wheat, Reuters reports. The move opens the door to the return of the “regot wars” that curtailed Egypt’s access to the global wheat market last year. Last November, the government had tasked the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) to be “the sole state body authorized to inspect wheat at shipping and arrival ports.” The court ordered the responsibility of inspections to be transferred back to the Agriculture Ministry’s quarantine body — the architect of Egypt’s ergot ban. “The lawyers said it was unclear whether suspension of the system would restore Egypt’s controversial ban on the common grain fungus ergot,” Reuters notes. State grain buyer GASC had said it intends to follow the international standard of allowing up to 0.05% ergot in wheat shipments. Traders said they expect the old quarantine inspectors to be back, but agree with GASC that the international level is expected to be maintained.

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