Transparency Lies in Computerised DNA Tracker

SOUTH KOREA - A computerised DNA beef tracking system has emerged as a major solution to Korea's beef issues. It is believed that the system will offer consumers the ability to track the meat from farm to distribution, increasing the transparency and confidence of trade.
calendar icon 15 July 2008
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Since U.S. beef returned to the shelves here in Korea, beef sales at large discount retailers like E-Mart have dropped by some 14 percent compared to May, but sales of Korean beef to which the system is applied have increased over 30 percent.

This is thanks to consumer confidence in the beef as the system provides them with all the information they need to know about it says Digital Chosun. Calls for the system are increasing as the Gyeonggi provincial government revealed last week that some 600 head of downer cattle are reported annually.

The tracking system was first introduced as a pilot program in October 2004. On Nov. 22 of last year a bill on cattle and beef tracking was passed in the National Assembly, and the law is scheduled to take effect on Dec. 22 of this year for some 2 million head of cattle nationwide.

According to Digital Chosun, when that happens, livestock farmers will be required to report to government-designated agencies such as a livestock cooperative federation and a Korean beef association all calf births and sales and purchases of cattle. Starting from June 22, 2009, the system will also be applied to distributors including processing and selling businesses.

  • View the Digital Chosun story by clicking here.
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