x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Egypt says French grain shipment bug-free

Region Egyptian authorities say a French wheat shipment is free of bugs and diseases.

CAIRO // Egyptian authorities said today that a French wheat shipment held at the Red Sea port of Safaga can be sieved and is free of bugs and diseases, the state news agency MENA reported. Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat. Earlier this year, it refused to pay for two grain shipments from Russia, one of its largest suppliers, after it claimed the grain was contaminated with insects.

The ensuing dispute lead to concerns about a possible shortage of wheat and a repeat of grain riots that rocked the country in the 1970s. The issue has since been resolved but food safety remains an issue. A source at the country's agricultural quarantine authority told Reuters on Friday that 63,000 tonnes of French wheat were held at Safaga after tests showed the shipment contained more seed than allowed.

"Tests of samples were conducted from the imported shipment now in the port of Safaga and it was found that it contained no bugs or other agricultural diseases," Ali Soliman, the head of the authority's central administration, was quoted as saying. * with Reuters