June 18, 2018 / 7:46 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-S.Korea halts sale of Canadian wheat, flour after unapproved GMO discovery in Alberta

(Corrects Canadian wheat imports volume to 226,355 T, not 227,214 T in fourth paragraph; clarifies timing of announcement and GM finding in first paragraph)

SEOUL, June 18 (Reuters) - South Korea has suspended the sale of wheat and flour from Canada after the North American nation announced last week the discovery in mid-2017 of an unapproved genetically modified trait in Alberta, the country's food ministry said on Monday.

"We will only allow sale of wheat products that are confirmed not to contain unapproved genetically modified wheat," South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in a statement.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said last week the grain containing a genetically modified trait, developed by Monsanto Co to tolerate the Roundup weed-killer, was found in Alberta after it survived herbicide spraying.

Canada is one of the world's largest wheat exporters, and is South Korea's no.3 wheat supplier.

In 2017, South Korea imported 226,355 tonnes of wheat from Canada, accounting for 9.2 percent of the country's total wheat imports, according to food ministry data.

Reporting by Jane Chung Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Tom Hogue

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