South Korea bans import of Canadian wheat and flour


South Korea has announced a halt of import on Canadian wheat and flour after a discovery of genetically modified plants in southern Alberta, located in Western Canada

GMO wheatNo GM wheat is approved in any country. (Image source: AgriLife Today/Flickr)

This follows Japan’s similar suspension on importing wheat from Canada, as genetically modified wheat is banned for commercialisation throughout the world.

On 14 June 2018, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) revealed the discovery of genetically modified wheat in southern Alberta.

Japan is a leading importer of Canadian wheat, with import value standing at around 1.5mn tonnes per year. South Korea’s import stands at around 235,000 tonnes per year.

Commenting on the ban on import on Canadian wheat, industry experts in South Korea said that the impact would be limited as the share of Canadian wheat imports is small in South Korea.

South Korea imported 226,355 tonnes of Canadian wheat in 2017 and by 15 June 2018, Canada exported about 89,683 tonnes of wheat to South Korea.

Jesse Wilson, global affairs spokesman in Canada, commented that the government is taking steps to collaborate with international trading countries to make more informed decisions and limit market disruption.

Speaking to Reuters, Kevin Bender, Alberta Wheat Commission chair, said that the incident is an isolated one and that the country aims to resume wheat export to its international counterparts.

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