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S. Korea's GMO imports total 2.1 mln tons in 2015

All Headlines 10:31 September 03, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's imports of genetically modified agricultural products posted more than 10 million tons last year, data showed Saturday, amid calls for tougher regulations on related food safety.

In 2015, a total of 10.2 million tons of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), worth US$2.36 billion, were brought into the country, according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Among those, 2.14 million tons, or 21 percent, were used for food, while the rest were for livestock feed.

The amount of genetically modified corn and beans came to 1.11 million tons and 1.02 million tons, respectively, mostly imported from the United States, Brazil and Argentina.

South Korea's imports of edible GMOs have been on the upward trend in general despite going up and down.

The amount dropped to 1.37 million tons in 2009 from 1.55 million tons a year earlier, when related data were first compiled. And then it rebounded to 1.91 million tons in 2010 and fell again to 1.83 million tons in 2011.

It soared to 2.28 million tons in 2014 after retreating to 1.68 million tons in 2013.
Consumer rights groups here have called for health authorities to tighten rules on the labeling of GMO products.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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