Pesticide inspection of basil from Thailand ordered for importers

By Lim Chang-won Posted : June 18, 2020, 12:42 Updated : June 18, 2020, 12:42

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- South Korea tightened customs conditions on imports of basil from Thailand following the detection of high levels of pesticide residue. An order for the obligatory inspection of basil imported from Thailand will take effect on June 25 for a year.

Basil is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. It is used in cuisines worldwide and the type used commonly as a flavor is typically called sweet basil. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety asked importers to provide the results of an inspection by a government-designated agency that basil from Thailand is safe.

"This inspection order reinforces the safety management obligations of importers due to repeated nonconformities in Thai basil, which is used as a spice for cooking," the ministry said in a statement, saying the inspection is aimed at checking the nonconformity rate of pesticide and agricultural chemicals.

Due to the growing popularity of foreign food such as spaghetti and pasta as well as the diversification of diet, especially among young consumers, sales of imported spices such as tumeric, parsley, basil and laurel leaves have steadily increased in South Korea.
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