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South Korea retains rules on PHL banana exports

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Staff Writer | December 8, 2016
South Korea has decided not to push through with its plan of imposing stringent residue limits on some pesticides used in growing bananas.
Food trade   Korea wanted to adopt a positive list system
Maria Alilia G. Maghirang, head of the Philippine Agriculture Office in Seoul, said South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drugs Safety (MFDS) favorably considered Manila’s requested pesticide maximum residue limits (MRLs) for bananas.

“The MFDS set the final MRL for chlorpyrifos at 2 parts per million [ppm], same as Food Code,” Maghirang said in a memorandum addressed to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol.

She noted that chlorpyrifos is a critical active ingredient for banana production already deleted in the Korean Food Code, but was applied for import-tolerance (IT) analysis.

“It was supposed to be subjected to the default 0.01 ppm MRL if final IT was not issued this by end-December,” Maghirang said.

The MFDS, Maghirang added, also set the final MRL for buprofecin at 2 ppm. The chemical is an active ingredient not in the Korean food code.

She said Seoul also assigned a final MRL of 2 ppm for azoxystrobin, 0.1 ppm for bifenthrin and 0.1 ppm for thiophanate methyl.

Seoul is currently in the process of putting in place more stringent IT measures on tropical fruits.

South Korea wanted to adopt a positive list system (PLS) starting January next year as an IT measure and to do away with the conventional standards on MRL.