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Cabinet approves bill on children's food safety

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- The Cabinet endorsed a bill on Wednesday to place all retailers suspected of selling junk food to children across the country under the monitoring of local governments.

There have been mounting calls for increasing the authorities'surveillance of supermarkets or stationery stores selling junk food to children since the current monitoring system is limited to Green Food Zones in the vicinity of schools.

Currently, retailers are banned from selling low-quality or unsanitary food as well as food containing harmful additives within a 200-meter radius of an elementary, middle or high school.

Local governments, also under the present law, have distributed "good retailer" stickers to those selling only healthy refreshments to children in the zones in a bid to encourage consumption of such food.

The bill would remove regional limitations for designating good retailers, making all stores selling healthy snacks for children eligible for good retailer status, the government said.

The government-proposed revision also calls for increasing state support for stores selling healthy food for children, the government said.

The bill has not yet won approval by the National Assembly.

The Cabinet also approved a motion for extending by one more year each the dispatch of South Korean troops in operations in Lebanon, Haiti and waters off Somalia.

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