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South Korea to tighten its GMO detection capability

(January 29, 2001 -- Cropchoice news) -- South Korea announced last week that it will tighten its customs procedures to prevent the importation of genetically engineered food meant for humans.

This step comes after the discovery of StarLink (a genetically modified corn variety from Aventis) in a 55,000-ton shipment of corn meant for humans from the United States earlier this month. This was the third time since late last year that South Korea, which approved genetically engineered food only for animal feed or industrial use, has detected StarLink corn in U.S. imports.

To improve its monitoring of genetically altered food, the Korea Food and Drug Administration will buy three more sets of testing equipment; it now has one.

The government also is considering mandatory labeling of products with transgenic ingredients.

In 2000, South Korea imported 2.7 million tons of corn from the United States, about one-third of its total corn imports.

Source: Associated Press