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03.09.2017 |

South Korean government to shut down GMO-related development project

Agreement with North Jeolla civic group will establish guidelines for future GMO research

The South Korean government has agreed to shut down a project that has been accused of being a step toward commercializing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and to set up a joint committee with civic groups to hold regular deliberations about GMO research plans. This has earned the government credit for creating a framework that allows civic society to take part in governance instead of unilaterally ramming through its policies.

On the morning of Sept. 1, the Rural Development Administration (RDA) and the North Jeolla Residents’ Campaign against GMOs signed an agreement at the RDA office in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, in which the RDA agreed “not to promote the production of genetically modified crops” and promised to shut down its Genetically Modified Crop Development Project by the end of the year. The project had been suspected of being designed to promote the commercialization of genetically modified crops.

The RDA also promised that crop testing which had taken place next to its office would be relocated to a place with safety facilities and that those tests would be conducted on a limited basis. Tests on genetically modified rice, peppers and wheat had raised the ire of local farmers and civic groups.

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