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South Korea Consults on the GMO Food Labeling Standard

MFDS proposed to approve "Non-GMO" labels on foods with less than 0.9% GMO materials. Health functional foods (dietary supplement) and livestock products are exempted from labeling the "GMO" labels.

South Korea proposed a draft of the Labelling Standard of Genetically Modified Foods 1 on January 28, 2021. MFDS intended to permit the "Non-GMO" labels after referring to the international GMO labeling standards. Stakeholders can send suggestions to MFDS before March 29, 2021. The main modifications are specified as below:

1. "Non-GMO" Labels

MFDS forbids the "Non-GMO," "GMO-Free," or other similar labels to avoid inappropriate competition. However, referring to the GMO labeling standards of EU, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, the competent authority proposed to approve the use of "non-GMO" labels when the food containing less than 0.9% GMO materials unintentionally. By modifying the requirement, South Korea is to clarify the proper scope for "non-GMO" labels and bring more options to consumers.

2. Other Provisions

MFDS is to add "health functional foods" and "livestock products" to the "GMO Food exempted from labeling GMO labels" when relevant certificates can be presented.

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