Stricter GMO Governance Expected in South Korea

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Food and beverage firms have been warned that South Korea is expected to further tighten its governance on genetically-modified (GM) foods despite recent policy moves indicating that officials were adopting a less strict approach, reports the FoodNavigator-Asia on May 04.  Public sentiment against GMO foods was depicted in a previous survey by research firm Korea Biosafety Clearing House (KBCH) which showed that over 83% of national consumers want stricter regulations to be imposed on GMO handling, storage, distribution and labelling.  

The Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) appears to have recently been adjusting GMO standards to be less stringent such as its recent modification allowing food products with only trace amounts of GM ingredients to make ‘non-GMO’ label claims to align with international standards, the report said.  MFDS, also recently announced that it would be requiring food safety reviews for GMO foods at the agricultural product/ingredient level but not necessarily the final processed food product which appears to be another small concession but experts have said that in the long run, it is likely that overall, GMO control is only going to get stricter.

South Korea has been attempting to keep up with international standards such as those from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) in terms of non GMO labelling, but in general food imports with GMO content have been subject to more problems than those without.

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