Monday, October 31, 2005


Kimchi war breaks out

Insanitary foods developed into war between China and South Korea.

Watchdog orders recall, destruction of tainted Chinese kimchi
SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's food safety watchdog ordered the recall and destruction of nine Chinese kimchi products on Friday after detecting parasite eggs in them.

The Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said the Chinese imports were found to contain the eggs of three parasites -- roundworm, hookworm and trichostrongylus orientalis.

S. Korea to launch investigation into local kimchi producers
SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign ministry said Tuesday it will conduct an investigation of local kimchi producers after revelations Monday that parasite eggs were discovered in South Korean products exported to China.

On Monday, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine posted on its Web site the names of 10 South Korean food products, including kimchi, hot pepper paste and spices for broiled beef, in which parasite eggs were discovered.

FYI : Another Korean insanitary food
(LEAD) Gov't to Seek Disclosure of Names of Unsafe Food Product Makers

(ATTN: UPDATES with outcome of government-ruling party meeting)
SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- The government and the ruling Uri Party agreed Wednesday to push for a revision of the food hygiene law to enable the disclosure of the names of companies found to have produced food products unfit to eat.

The proposed revision also calls for strengthening the punishment of manufacturers of unsafe foods by stipulating that they receive prison terms instead of fines.

Attending the meeting on the Uri side were floor leader Chun Jung-bae and chief policymaker Hong Jae-hyong, while Vice Justice Minister Kim Sang-hee and Shim Chang-koo, head of the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA), represented the government.

The meeting came amid public outcry over the "garbage dumpling scandal" in which some local manufacturers of dumplings, called "mandu" in Korean, were found to have used an unsafe ingredient for stuffing.

The scandal also touched off calls for better food quality controls.

According to business and government sources, the situation has taken a turn for the worse as food processing companies and the KFDA revealed that the unsafe ingredient -- chopped radishes from a firm identified only as "W foods" -- was supplied to big food companies.

The radishes, imported from China, were already rotten but were "cleaned" and prepared even though they were unfit for consumption and should have been destroyed. Mandu is made by stuffing seasoned minced meat and vegetables inside a flour-based "skin." They are cooked in a frying pan or boiled and can also be put in soup.

Companies such as leading food processing concern CJ admitted they had received the bad radishes, but have since changed suppliers and were not using the radishes at present.

Despite these assertions department stores, supermarkets and other retail outlets around the country were pulling dumplings from their shelves.

Sales of mandu have plummeted 90 percent since the report came out on Monday, with retailers saying they did not intend to put the restock the food until more details came from the KFDA.

The state food safety watchdog drew fire for dragging its feet on investigating and announcing the names of companies that used the radishes. About 25 food producers were said to have used the bad ingredients.

The public outcry reached new heights when it was discovered that the police had asked the media not to report on investigations into the matter, which actually began in February.

Police had told the local press in late April that investigations were under way and that an embargo should be maintained until those responsible for distributing the spoiled ingredients were arrested. The public was thus exposed to dumplings they should not have consumed for more than 100 days.

The government and the ruling party said that they will explore ways to strengthen regulations and punishments for individuals and companies that make sell and distribute hazardous foods, since current laws are deemed inadequate.


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