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Gov't to tighten inspections of eco-friendly farm products

All Headlines 11:00 April 27, 2010

SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) -- The government said Tuesday that it will tighten inspections of eco-friendly farm products sold on the market to better meet consumer demand for safe food.

The National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service said the measure is aimed at fighting a steady rise in products that fail to meet set standards for residual pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

In 2009, the state-run body checked 13,444 products that have received so-called green certificates and found problems in 391, up from 184 detected in 2007 when 9,353 products were checked randomly.

Products with "green" certificate are in high demand and fetch higher prices on the market than ordinary agricultural goods and those imported from abroad.

South Korea started issuing certificates through civilian quality control companies as of 2001 so consumers can choose the food they want to eat.

The service said farm products that fail to meet quality control standards will be barred from using the certificates in the future. In serious cases, tougher administrative measures may be taken.

The agency under the farm ministry said that it will also strengthen oversight of the 62 civilian quality control companies across the country to make certain that state regulations are followed.

Information on farms that raise certified eco-friendly products will be posted on the Internet (www.enviagro.go.kr) so consumers can check the products they are buying.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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