Korea halts imports of German pork, poultry
Published : Jan 6, 2011 - 18:37
Updated : Jan 6, 2011 - 18:37
Korea has effectively halted imports of German pork and poultry products after high levels of dioxin were discovered, the government said Thursday.

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said it has confirmed recent media reports that dioxin, a toxic compound that can damage the human immune system and cause cancer, has been detected in pork, poultry meat, eggs and animal feed made in Germany.

Based on the information, it has temporarily suspended all quarantine inspections on new imports, while those already in the country will be checked thoroughly for contamination, the ministry said.

In 2010, Korea imported 6,266 tons of pork and other meat products from the European country, while there are 129 tons currently held in storage and waiting inspections.

The ministry said quarantine inspections will be suspended until tangible measures are taken by Berlin to enhance its food safety measures to guard against dioxin contamination. If no quarantine inspections take place, food products cannot reach the local market, it added.

Foreign and local media reported earlier in the week that up to 6 picograms of dioxin were found in a gram of fat from some German pork and poultry products, which is much higher than the 2pg permitted by Seoul. 

(Yonhap News)