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South Korea’s government said on Friday it is to tighten up customs inspection to prevent the import of genetically modified food and grains for human consumption.

The move follows the discovery of StarLink, a genetically modified corn, in a 55,000-ton shipment from the US on 15 January. The corn was meant for human consumption.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the altered corn only for animal feed and industrial use because of doubts over whether allergic reactions can be caused by human consumption.
South Korea allows the use of genetically altered food or grains only for animal feed or industrial use.

The Korean FDA is to introduce a system to legally obligate domestic or foreign food manufacturers to declare whether their products include GMOs.

The suspended 15 January corn imports were from the US firm Cargill. It is the third time since last November that South Korea has found StarLink corn in shipments from the US. In two earlier cases, a total of 56,000 tons of US corn included the altered corn.