Food items will feature GMO labels

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Food items will feature GMO labels

Food products that contain even the slightest amount of genetically modified organisms will carry a GMO label starting in February as the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Wednesday unveiled revisions to a range of food, bio and medical regulations.

Food manufacturers are currently supposed to show a product carries GMO on the label only if it is one of top five ingredients. The revision will make it mandatory for the producers to indicate if the product contains genetically-modified DNA and protein, which the ministry explains is aimed at “beefing up consumers’ right to know.”

Under the revision, manufacturers of any foodstuff with glacial acetic acid will be forced to implement a child protection package design so that children 5 or younger will have difficulty opening it, starting in January.

To encourage consumers to consume less sodium, the government will require manufacturers to list content of sodium in similar products on packages of instant foods such as noodles, hamburgers and sandwiches starting in May.

In the medical sector, cosmetics products 10 milliliters (0.3 fluid ounces) or smaller, including samples, will have to indicate on the label the date of production or a maximum period of usage after opening - a new rule that will be enforced in February. Currently, small and sample cosmetics goods only need to display the name, manufacturer and price.

To help the booming cosmetics sector continue its growth through specialization and to reflect the latest trends in the market, the ministry will expand the types of the so-called functional cosmetics from the current three - whitening, wrinkle reduction and sunscreen - to 10.

The seven added categories are hair bleach, hair-dying, hair-loss prevention, hair depilation, moisturizing specifically for atopic dermatitis, prevention of dryness in acne-prone skin and improvement of damaged skin, including stretch marks.

The revision will also make it possible for consumers to seek compensation for medical treatment costs due to adverse side effects from using medical products, starting in January. Victims of medical side effects are currently eligible to demand compensation for damages, disability and funeral costs.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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