By Kim Jae-heun
The Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC) has increased the scope of its safety inspections to strengthen product quality.
Previously, the corporation conducted safety inspections on 293 items, which not it increased by 139 to 432. This will be applied to 9,490 ginseng fields in the country covering a total 4,290 hectares.
Since 2019, the government has been applying stricter rules on quality control of agricultural products. It also raised safety standards for ginseng products to increase the number of checklist items to 150 from 100.
As awareness of crop safety has been rising overseas, the KGC has preemptively increased the number of inspection items up to 432 to better assure customers of its product quality.
Based on its reinforced safety system, the KGC conducts safety inspections seven times over the course of eight years, from the stage of selecting cultivation sites to harvesting ginseng and manufacturing it into final products before shipping.
Safety tests begin with the soil where ginseng is planted. Ginseng can only be grown in fields that test negative for organochlorine, which the World Health Organization designates as a toxic substance.
Even during the six-year period of ginseng cultivation, the KGC continues its quality and safety management. The ginseng corporation adopts stricter standards to allow less than 30 percent of harmful ingredients in its ginseng products than what the government deems acceptable. If a plant does not pass this test, the KGC will discard it, even if it is six years old and ready to be processed into consumer products.
The KGC’s safety analysis is at a global level. It is the first ginseng corporation to be recognized by the Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme for its capability in six fields, including quality management system, crop protection agents and heavy metals.
The safety analysis issued by the KGC has the same international effect as an official report by an overseas inspection agency.
“KGC products are trusted by consumers through our constant research and development based on strict quality control. In the future, we will continue to produce ginseng that customers can consume with confidence by further increasing safety inspection items,” a KGC official said.