December 12, 2008

South Korea to tighten dioxin checks on imported pork byproducts

South Korea will check all imports of pork byproducts for dioxin following the recent discovery of the cancerous substance in Irish meat, according to officials on Thursday (Dec 11).


This move comes after South Korea on Monday (Dec 8) halted quarantine inspections on imports of Irish pork and byproducts amid reports that Dublin had detected a much higher than permissible level of dioxin in the meat.


Quarantine inspection rules will be revised to check all imported meat byproducts and bones for dioxin contamination, said the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.


Currently, local quarantine authorities check pork imports for dioxin contamination through random sampling.


The ministry said 335 tonnes of Irish pork and byproducts were imported this year, with 90 tonnes of meat byproducts produced after September 1. Meat produced after this date has the highest risk of contamination, according to the ministry.


South Korea had also discovered dioxin in Chilean pork imports a few months ago, and Chile admitted that 4.5 percent of its hog production has been affected by dioxins.

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