ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Egypt's agricultural quarantine authority rejected a 33,000-tonne U.S. wheat shipment for containing trace levels of the common grain fungus ergot, government documents showed.
Documents from the ministries of health and agriculture seen by Reuters show the shipment contained an 0.006 percent level of ergot, well below the commonly accepted international standard of 0.05 percent that Egypt's prime minister said on Tuesday his country adopts.
The shipment received its first rejection on June 12, according to the document. Trading firm Venus has appealed against the decision and was hoping the cargo would be accepted after the prime minister issued a decree overturning an old agricultural quarantine law that stipulates zero ergot.
Egypt's Agriculture Ministry told Reuters the decree from the Prime Minister's office has yet to be issued because of a months-old judicial order from the prosecutor banning all ergot from entering the country.
"The prosecutor needs to remove that order first before a decree can be issued," Eid Hawash, agriculture ministry spokesman, said.
(Reporting by Maha El Dahan and Eric Knecht; editing by Adrian Croft)