Northwest Horticultural Council
Korea Increases Number of Pesticide Residues Tested for 2021
Current Situation: Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) will test initial shipments of cherries arriving this year for pesticide residues for every packing house/exporter combination shipping to Korea. If test results are found to be in compliance with Korea’s MRL standards, no further testing will be required. MFDS has added six chemicals to their existing list of 65 chemicals for which they have commonly tested for in past years on arrival at port of entry. (The list of 65 MRLs Korea tests for may be found here.)
The six new chemicals MFDS will test for are listed, below, along with the US and Korean MRLs for these materials:
|Pesticide||Trade Name||US MRL (ppm)||Korean MRL (ppm)|
Korea included these six new MRLs because they are aware of reported residue concerns on cherries for these chemicals in other countries within the region. Korea is known to watch other markets, and if there is a residue issue, they will add it to their own testing list. They likewise will add chemicals to their testing list if they lower an MRL and want to make sure new residues are compliant.
The tests are to be conducted on a packing house/exporter basis and not a combination of a packing house and an importer, as done in years past. According to MFDS, if packing house XX passes the first testing, then the result will be saved in MFDS’s computerized import inspection system and this computer system will automatically classify future shipments from packing house XX to products subject to document inspection. When a new importer imports cherries from packing house XX, no testing will be required.
Although this is not welcome news, it appears to be only a single test on initial shipments.
The California industry has impressed upon the U.S. Embassy in Seoul that cherries are highly perishable, and that a quick turn around on tests results is needed so that shipments may be released.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact Northwest Horticultural Council vice president for scientific affairs, David Epstein, at 509-654-3713.