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Tighter Food Safety Laws Set Amid Melamine Scare

Posted September. 29, 2008 09:12,   


The government and the ruling Grand National Party yesterday announced a package of measures to secure food safety amid rising worry over melamine-contaminated food products imported from China.

More food imports containing melamine are expected to be detected since the Korea Food and Drug Administration plans to test all food products containing imported dairy products.

The food watchdog will also see if isolated soy protein widely used in processed food products such as fish balls and frozen dumplings contains melamine.

In a meeting held at party headquarters, the party and the Health, Welfare and Family Affairs Ministry agreed on a food-labeling system that requires indicating on the packaging whether a product was manufactured overseas through an original equipment manufacturer agreement for both finished and intermediary food products.

Under the system, all imported food products must have the country of origin on their packaging next to the name of the product at half the size of the name.

The class-action lawsuit system for food products will also be reintroduced after being scrapped at the end of the 17th National Assembly, and a warning system for harmful foods will be launched. At the same time, food manufacturers will be shut down for a second violation of food laws, and the government will increase the examination rate for imported goods from 20 percent to 30 percent.

Melamine was discovered in the snacks “Misarang Coconut" and “Misarang Custard.” “Misarang Coconut” recorded the highest melamine contamination rate of 271.4 parts per million among those tested. Manufacturer Haitai Confectionary has ordered a complete recall and disposal of the product.

The food watchdog will also ban the distribution and sales of all imported products testing negative for melamine until the entire stock is confirmed safe.

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