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South Korea Revises Food Code: Focusing on Contaminants Control

The diarrhetic shellfish poison standard is modified. MRLs for eight pesticides are amended.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) consulted on the draft of Food Code1 on July 18, 2022. Soon after, on December 1, 2022, the authority implemented the amendments in Food Code (MFDS Notice No. 2022-84)2

The main amendments are:

1. Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison Standard

To align with international standards, the Korean authority modified the substances subject to diarrhetic shellfish poison control.

The diarrhetic shellfish poison in Bivalvia refer to the sum of Okadaic acid (OA), Dinophysistoxin-1(DTX-1), and Dinophysistoxin-2(DTX-2), whose amount shall be less than 0.16 mg/kg. Previously, the total amount of OA and DTX-1 was limited to be under 0.16 mg/kg. 

2. Maximum Residual Limits for Pesticides

The Maximum Residual Limits (MRLs) of eight pesticides in agricultural products are updated. The details are as below: 



Amendments (marked in red)



Millet: 1.0T->0.5 mg/kg (amended)

Kiwi: 2.0T->0.5 mg/kg (amended)



Taros: 0.1T->0.05 mg/kg (amended)



Peanuts: 0.2T->0.02†mg/kg(amended)



Pepper: 0.15† mg/kg (deleted)



Bell pepper: 0.5T->0.05 mg/kg (amended)



Eggplant: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Citrus fruits: 1.0† mg/kg (deleted)

Potato: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

mMstard green: 0.15 mg/kg (deleted)

Nuts: 0.05† mg/kg (deleted)

Sweet potato: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Sweet potato stems: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Pepper: 1.0 mg/kg (deleted)

Pepper (dried): 1.0 mg/kg (deleted)

Carrot: 0.09† mg/kg (deleted)

Soya beans: 0.04† mg/kg (deleted)

Durian: 0.4† mg/kg (deleted)

Perilla leaf: 0.2 mg/kg (deleted)

Garlic: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Korean Plum: 1.0 mg/kg (deleted)

Cotton seeds: 0.15† mg/kg (deleted)

Quince: 1.0 mg/kg (deleted)

Radishes(root): 0.07 mg/kg (deleted)

Radishes(leaf): 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Wheat: 0.4† mg/kg (deleted)

Banana: 2.0† mg/kg (deleted)

Chestnuts: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Chinese cabbage: 0.2 mg/kg (deleted)

Peach: 0.5 mg/kg (deleted)

Broccoli: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Sorghum: 0.5† mg/kg (deleted)

Turnip: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Spinach: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Cabbage: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Onion: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Ssam cabbage: 0.2 mg/kg (deleted)

Cucumber: 0.5 mg/kg (deleted)

Maize: 0.05† mg/kg (deleted)

Longan: 0.9† mg/kg (deleted)

Burdock: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Burdock leaf: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Adlay: 0.1 mg/kg (deleted)

Pome fruits: 1.0 mg/kg (deleted)

Plum: 0.2 mg/kg (deleted)

Tea: 2.0† mg/kg (deleted)

Perillae Folium: 0.2 mg/kg (deleted)

Coffee bean: 0.05† mg/kg (deleted)

Kale: 0.15 mg/kg (deleted)

Kohlrabi: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Cranberry: 1.0† mg/kg (deleted)

Welsh onion: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Red bean: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Green garlic: 0.05 mg/kg (deleted)

Sweet pepper: 1.0 mg/kg (deleted)

Seed spices: 5.0† mg/kg (deleted)

Fruit spices: 1.0† mg/kg (deleted)

Squash: 0.3 mg/kg (deleted)



Lettuce: 1.0->0.7 mg/kg (amended)



Rice: 0.05 mg/kg (newly added)

*Agricultural products marked with "+" are agricultural products for which the residual limit standard is set at the request of the exporting country. When the products meet the bar, they are approved for being imported to S. Korea.

*Agricultural products marked with “T” are agricultural products for which the residual limit standard is a temporary standard. 

Implementation Date

The amendments are effective on December 1, 2022. Nevertheless, the MRLs of Chlorpyrifos will be implemented on January 1, 2024. 

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