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Safety Investigation

Purpose

  • To provide safe agricultural products and prevent distribution of unfit agricultural products in the market through Safety Investigation and management of toxic substance such as pesticides in the process of production, distribution, sales of agricultural products
  • Lead to production of high-qualified agricultural products linked to policy project such as certified agricultural products, exporting agricultural products, ginseng safety measures, and etc. in order to improve competitiveness and achieve increase in rural household incomes
  • By investigating residual toxic substances on agricultural products, build a scientific safety tool and improve safety level of agricultural products

Laws

Progress

  • 1994 : Implemented investigation on agrochemical residue for follow-up management of quality certified organic/inorganic agrochemical
  • 1997 : Provide legal basis on the Act on the support of the Agricultural and Fishery Products processing industry and quality management
  • 2000 : Introduced ”Laboratory Information Management System(LIMS)” to build efficient analysis tool as business on safety management of agricultural products expanded
  • 2001 : Implemented monitoring program for investigation of rice containing heavy-metal and bacteria which cause food poisoning in exhausted mine region
    * Monitored parasite egg in environmental-friendly agricultural product, Kim-chi(2005)
  • 2004~2007 : Expand analytical laboratory
  • 2006 : Expand investigation on heavy-metal(lead, cadmium) due to heavy-metal incident in exhausted mine
  • 2009 : Introduced investigation at distribution and sales stage for the first time. Introduced toxic substance investigation and safety investigation instituion appointment system
  • 2011 : Unification of safety investigation of agricultural and fishery products
  • 2013 : Unification of agricultural foods sanitation and safety business to Minister of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
    • Safety investigation authority delegated(Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) and committed(General director of National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service) by Ministry of Food and Drug Safety

Safety Investigation

Subject of investigation
  • Agricultural products that are produced, distributed, and sold : 160 of major items
    • Divide into groups of production/distribution/sales depending on products’ characteristics when implementing safety investigation
    • production stage : conducted by collecting samples at production site or place where producer store before the shipment
    • distribution and sales stage : conducted by collecting samples of agricultural products at distribution and sales stage to perform safety investigation efficiently
      * Location of investigation: rice mill, RPC, APC, traditional market(including street vendor), direct distribution and e-commerce, grain merchant etc. which are related to production stage
    • Conducted toxic substance anlaysis in order to manage production and distribution stage of certificated agricultural products such as Eco-friendly, GAP products
  • Farmland, water, materials, and etc. that are used for the production of agricultural products
Toxic substance subject to investigation
  • Agrochemical residue : Pesticides elements that are used frequently and residual time is long among 431 elements that the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety notified
  • Heavy metal : Cadmium and lead from most of products including rice, cabbage, etc.
  • Persistent Organic Pollutant : 12 including dioxin, furan, etc.
  • Pathogenic microorganism : 6 including salmonella, bacillus, cereus, etc.
  • Mycotoxin : 8 elements including aflatoxin B1 subject to rice, peanut, etc.
  • Radioactivity : 2 types(cesium,iodine) including radionuclide
  • Antibiotic : Drugs for animal use that are used frequently among 84 elements that the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety notified
Procedure
Safety management plan
  • Annual safety investigation, plan for actual condition of toxic substances
  • Farmer/Consumer education/Promotion/Exchange, research for safety enhancement
  • Items considered as important for safety enhancement of other agricultural products
Collection point details such as samples subject to collection and time
  • Selecting sample collection target for safety investigation considering production level, storage level, and distribution amount of agricultural products
  • Considering the expected time of toxic substance increase, production level and distribution amount for each product, and etc.
Apply the standard of maximum residue limits
  • Production stage of agricultural products : Notified by the Minister of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
  • Distribution/Sales stage of agricultural products : Notified by the Minister of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety(Please refer to food code)
  • Exporting agricultural products : Apply the standard of Maximum Residue Limits of the importing country, however, if agricultural products are for domestic sales, domestic standard is applied
  • Farmland : In accordance with 「Soil Environment Conservation Act」, apply “Soil pollution concern level” determined by the Minister of Environment
  • River, lakes and marshes : In accordance with 「Framework Act on Environmental Policy」, apply “Public Health Protection Standard” among river, lakes and marshes standard determined under a Presidential decree
  • Groundwater : In accordance with 「Groundwater Act」, apply “Specific toxic substance standard” among agricultural and fishery water under standard of water quality determined by the Minister of Environment
  • Materials : Apply “process specification for fertilizer” notified by the Minister of Rural Development Administration
Analytical result notification
  • Analytical laboratory record analytical result into SafeQ system, and local office notify result to relevant farm
Measure for unfit
  • Agricultural products : Producers discard, postpone shipment, and change use of unfit agricultural products
    * If not fulfilled properly, reported to the relevant institution under related laws or will be directly charged
Measures for those who do not fulfill administrative actions
  • Those who do not fulfill administrative measures may be fined up to 10 million won or imprisoned up to 1 year
Investigation method for each research subject
  • General agricultural product : Material and agricultural products to produce and provide safe agricultural products, whether standard of Maximum Residue Limits of pesticides residues, heavy metal, mycotoxin, pathogenic microorganism and antibiotic, radioactivity, other toxic substance under ordinance of the Prime Minister exceeded is investigated
    • Materials : soil, water, materials used in the production of agricultural products
    • Agricultural products : agricultural products at the stage of production, distribution, and sales
    • The Minister of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety must determine items regarding general planning, target regions, target subjects, target toxic substance of safety investigation, establish safety investigation plan, and deliver them to National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service and related institution in city/district at the beginning of the year
  • Eco-friendly agricultural products : Within certification system, investigation is conducted to examine the agricultural products, soil, water, and others suit for certification standard, and investigation is also conducted for follow-up management to determine whether the certified products fit certification standard
  • GAP certification : Within certification system soil/water/product is investigated, and investigation is also conducted for follow-up management to determine whether the certified products fit certification standard
  • Geographically-labelled agricultural products : Conducted to examine whether registered geographically-labelled agricultural products fit safety suitability for follow-up management
  • Good Food Certification : Conducted to examine whether good food such as organically processed food, traditional food, KS food, and etc. fit safety suitability for follow-up management
  • Rice for recipient of direct payment : Conduct soil component examination or agrochemical residue examination on cultivated plants
  • Ginseng(Fresh Ginseng, susam) : Conduct safety investigation at the production stage such as examination on the use of agrochemical registered
  • Exporting agricultural products : As a precaution of the trouble that may arise from exporting agricultural products, conduct an examination on agrochemical residue in production packaging in advance

Appointment of Safety Investigation Institution

Purpose
  • To conduct part of safety investigation and experiment analysis professionally and efficiently, it is better to appoint safety investigation institution to handle safety investigation and experiment analysis
    • Although quantity of safety investigation is growing every year, due to the issue of secure of labor force, facilities, equipment, continuous expansion of quantity is limited
Procedure
  • Appointment application form → Formation of investigation team → Document screening → Site examination such as investigation capability evaluation, etc. → Investigation result report → Council committee review → Appointment form distribution → Notification of investigation institution appointment
  • Council committee
    • Purpose : Operating council committee consists of related professionals to deliver tasks such as appointment and operation of safety investigation institution more efficiently
    • Committee member : 7 members(3 from NAQS, 4 professionals from related institution)
    • Inquiry matters : adequacy of investigation institution appointment, items necessary for appointment and operation of other investigation institution
Appointment standard
Area of Laboratory
  • Must be equivalent to 250㎡(or larger) not to intervene the analysis task
  • In case of analysis of particular items, area of laboratory must be equivalent to or larger than 70㎡ in total
Analysis Equipment
  • Agricultural products
    • Pesticides residue
      - Chemical Balance(minimum measure unit is 0.0001g or less)
      - Top-loading balance(minimum measure unit is 0.1g or less)
      - Refrigerator(Include deep-freezer of -20℃ or less)
      - Homogenizer or blender
      - Evaporation equipment(Rotary evaporator and nitrogen evaporator)
      - Gas Chromatograph(GC)
      - Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer(GC/MS)
      - High Performance Liquid Chromatograph(HPLC)
      - High Performance Liquid Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer(HPLC/MS)
      - Other basic equipment required for analysis of agrochemical residue
    • Heavy metal
      - Chemical Balance(minimum measure unit is 0.0001g or less)
      - top-loading balance(minimum measure unit is 0.1g or less)
      - Refrigerator(Include deep-freezer of -20℃ or less)
      - Maffle’s Furnace
      - Microwave or Hot plate
      - Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer(AAS) or Inductively Couple Plasma Spectrophotometer(ICP) or ICP/MS
      - Other basic equipment required for analysis of heavy metal
    • Pathogenic Microbe
      - Chemical Balance(minimum measure unit is 0.0001g or less)
      - top-loading balance(minimum measure unit is 0.1g or less)
      - Refrigerator
      - Clean bench
      - Autoclave
      - Colony counter
      - Stomacher
      - Culture medium
      - Automated bacteria identification
      - Optical microscope(the power 1000(or more) magnification)
      - Other basic equipment required for bacteria identification
    • Other toxic substances: Standard of analysis equipment, determined by Director of National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service
  • Farmland(included materials)
    • Chemical Balance(minimum measure unit is 0.0001g or less)
    • Top-loading balance(minimum measure unit is 0.1g or less)
    • Refrigerator(Include deep-freezer of -20°C or less)
    • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer(AAS) or Inductively Couple Plasma Spectrophotometer(ICP) or ICP/MS
    • Gas Chromatograph(GC)
    • High Performance Liquid Chromatograph(HPLC)
    • Other basic equipment required for the analysis of farmland
  • Water
    • Chemical Balance(minimum measure unit is 0.0001g or less)
    • Top-loading balance(minimum measure unit is 0.1g or less)
    • Refrigerator(Include deep-freezer of -20°C or less)
    • Gas Chromatograph(GC)
    • High Performance Liquid Chromatograph(HPLC)
    • Clean bench
    • Autoclave
    • Colony counter
    • Stomacher
    • Culture medium
    • Automated bacteria identification
    • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer(AAS) or Inductively Couple Plasma Spectrophotometer(ICP) or ICP/MS
    • Optical microscope(the power 1000(or more) magnification)
    • Ion Chromatograph
    • Other basic equipment required for the analysis of water quality
Inspector
  • Number of Inspectors : 6(or more)
    • Only appointed toxic substance analysis field can start work with 4(or more) inspectors
  • Qualifications of Inspector
    • A college or community college graduate of analysis related majors approved by the Higher Education Act or ones who have an equivalent academic background
    • Food technician, food engineer, food industry engineer, agrichemical engineer, agrichemical engineer, hygienist, Engineer in soil assessment, or equivalent to profession related to analysis
    • Other candidates must have at least 2 years of working experiences in safety investigation field
  • Education of Inspector
    • Inspector requires education of safety investigation points such as sample collecting point, analytical tool, and etc. as provided by the Minister of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to deliver the investigation task smoothly
Regulations on Inspection
  • Means and procedure of inspection
  • Follow-up on inspection
  • nspector compliances and self-management/supervise point
  • Self-education of inspector
  • Other items, which are necessary for delivering investigation task, determined by the Minister of Food and Drug Safety
Application
Qualifications
  • Institution and organization, and etc. excluding National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service and local autonomous entities such as city, district and etc.
    • Not eligible to apply for safety investigation institution appointment for at least 2 years after the cancellation of the appointment due to administrative measures
Method
  • Applicant submit appointment application form to National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service
  • Application form
    • Safety investigation institution appointment application form
    • Articles of association and copy of corporate registration(for corporations)
    • Business plan for safety investigation business
    • Document that can prove the qualifications listed on the article 11 of the Act of Labelling of Genetically Modified Agricultural and Fishery Products and Safety Investigation of Agricultural and Fishery Products
    • Investiation business regulation such as investigation procedure and means
Procedure of safety investigation
  • submission of investigation result
    • Safety investigation institution submit safety investigation record to National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service within 5 days after the every quarte
  • Recording and management of inspection ledger
    • Document related to standard of investigation institution appointment and appointment standard
    • Documentary evidence related to safety investigation and investigation report
    • Document related to business process of investigation institution such as safety investigation inspection ledger
Follow-up management of investigation institution
  • Number of investigation : once a year
    • Number of inquiries varies, if necessary, acknowledged by the Director of National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service
  • Investigation items
    • Safety investigation institution appointment standard, actual implementation of safety investigation adequacy
  • Measures for investigation result
    • According to violation level, administrative measures are given to safety investigation institution