S. Korea to issue GMO guidelines

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Agriculture, Genetically modified organism

The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced
recently that guidelines to protect the agricultural sector from
genetically modified...

The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced recently that guidelines to protect the agricultural sector from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will come into effect in July 2001, reported the Korea Herald. Under the guidelines, bio-engineered agricultural products, whether domestic or imported, can receive safety clearance from the minister of agriculture and forestry before being distributed locally. The ministry will operate a special inspection committee at a designated examination centre. The committee should consist of, at most, 15 members from the agriculture, plant pathology, molecular biology and ecology fields. Examination results will be up for public review for a period of 20 days, and citizens can obtain a written copy within 270 days of the test results. Test submitters will have 60 days to file an objection. "The guidelines are strictly voluntary, so GMO importers do not need to go through the process. But we believe many will request safety approval from the ministry as consumers require some safety assurances," said a ministry official. Meanwhile, a recent Korea Food & Drug Administration​ survey, conducted by Prof. Kyung Kyu-hang from Sejong University, found that half of Koreans are undecided about whether or not to purchase GMO-labelled products. Products made with bio-engineered ingredients must be identified as such on their labels. Some 95 per cent of those surveyed said all GMO products should be labelled and 90 per cent said restaurants should let customers know if they are eating bio-engineered food. Source: The Korea Herald

Related topics: Policy

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