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6-Regulation: South Korea to introduce agri-product tracking system In 2006

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TITLE:  South Korea To Introduce Agri-Product Tracking System In 2006
SOURCE: Yonhap / Asia Pulse
DATE:   1 Aug 2005

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South Korea To Introduce Agri-Product Tracking System In 2006

The government said Monday it plans to introduce a tracking system for
agricultural goods next year that will monitor all produce from
production through distribution to give consumers a better picture of the
food they are consuming.

The system that will cover such basic staples as rice, fruit and
vegetables will make it easier for consumers to trust local producers,
who are increasingly turning to eco-friendly farming methods to compete
with cheaper imports, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said.

"Once this system is in place, people will be assured that the food they
are buying is safe to eat," a ministry expert said.

Products incorporated into this system should be easy to trace back to
the original manufacturer if there are any problems with quality, he added.

The changes will eventually call on all farmers to adopt the practice
after a given grace period.

"Subject to the initial implementation of the tracking system are
materials used for Oriental medicine and genetically modified organisms,"
the official said.

South Korea currently employs a tracking system for beef and plans to
expand this to all beef circulated within the country after 2009.

European countries have made it mandatory for all farm produce to adopt a
tracking system starting early this year, a move that countries like the
United States and Japan are expected to adopt later.


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