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 shipping to Korea. Packers need to submit an MRL test from every packing house they operate for six pesticide residues, listed below. South Korea will additionally test for residues of any pesticide for which MRLs (from the list of 65 pesticides that Korea has been testing for since 2020; found HERE) have been lowered over the past year. Under a normal inspection program, Korea’s Ministry of Food & Drug Safety (MFDS) requires testing of chemicals that have had non-compliance violations, but this year MFDS added testing of six active ingredients due to the third country market intelligence. MFDS usually updates the 65 chemical list every year by adding or removing new residues based upon violation records. If test results are found to be in compliance with Korea’s MRL standards, no further testing will be required.
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.