Friday, May 02, 2008

South Korea Importing GMO Corns from U.S. amid Protests from Environmental and Consumer Groups

After China limited corn export and because of the shortage of conventional corn in the world market, four South Korean companies have started to import genetically modified organisms (GMO) corn. The country imported about 63,000 tons of GMO corns recently. This is the highest amount of GMO corn imported for human consumption in thy country until now. However, the environmental and consumer groups are protesting against this import saying that this corn is unhealthy and health of South Korean people will be threatened.

AP reported:

"China has stopped exports, while European countries are sweeping off non-GMO corn from Latin American nations," said Yoo Chang-kyu, an official with the Korea Corn Processing Association, the business lobby for the four companies. "We don't have any other options."

"The safety of genetically modified corn has not been fully verified," they said in a joint statement. "If food is made with it, the health of our nation's people can be threatened."

On Thursday, activists held a protest at the port of Ulsan, where the GMO corn arrived, Yonhap news agency reported.

South Korea was used to importing corn from different countries, but about half of its human consumption was imported from China. Now, China is exporting less corn in order to ensure the country does not face domestic shortage. That is why, South Korea is now finding difficult to import required amount of conventional corn. So, I think, South Korea should look into new sources of importing corns and give more focus on domestic corn production in South Korea.