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Japan and South Korea suspend sale of Canadian wheat after GMO wheat found in Alberta

05 July 20182 min reading
Japan and South Korea has suspended its tender and sale of wheat from Canada after grain containing a genetically modified trait was discovered last summer in Canada’s Alberta province. Genetically modified wheat is not allowed to be grown commercially anywhere.  Two Asian countries Japan and South blocked Canadian wheat following the discovery of a small number of genetically modified plants in southern Alberta. Japan suspended imports of Canadian wheat on June 15 after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced the discovery. South Korea followed suit on June 18. In 2016, Japan and South Korea temporarily suspended U.S. wheat imports after a similar GMO wheat finding. Japan is Canada’s second largest market for the grain. Japan is one of the top importers of Canadian wheat at around 1.5 million tonnes a year and tends to buy the highest-quality grain at premium prices, said Cereals Canada president Cam Dahl. South Korea imports around 235,000 tonnes a year. Japan bought $203 million worth of wheat last year from Alberta, according to provincial agriculture statistics. South Korea imported about $20 million in Alberta wheat last year. Canada is one of the world’s largest wheat exporters. Adding he’s hopeful the suspension won’t last for long Dahl said there have been no indications so far that the European Union and China would be making similar moves. Canada’s trade minister François-Philippe Champagne says he has personally reassured his European Union counterpart after genetically modified wheat was found in Alberta and is not expecting a trade disruption.Losing Japanese and Sout Koreans buyers, who pay a premium for high-quality, high-protein wheat, hurts Canada and creates opportunities for U.S. and Australian wheat exporters.
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