Protesters hurt businessesAnti-U.S. beef protesters are now gathering in front of butcher shops. It is one thing to protest in front of City Hall, but their action in going to shops goes beyond being a slight, uncomfortable problem. It is quite simply an illegal act that shakes society’s order.
It’s an irony that the people who assert that they are fighting for the rights of the average consumer are ignoring those very rights.
Under Korean law, protesting in front of butcher shops constitutes both damaging the reputation of a business as well as disturbing business operations.
It’s clear. These protesters are damaging the stores’ reputation with false statements that by eating U.S. beef consumers are going to die quickly from mad cow disease. Their calls for butchers to stop selling U.S. beef constitutes disturbing business operations by force.
The “disturbing business operations” article of Korean law includes any possibility that a particular action can burden the business in any way. The article is strict, in order to protect the order of Korea’s free market economy.
Now that U.S. beef imports have come into Korea through the procedures established by the government, the issue needs now to be left to the market and the general consumer.
Local consumers have already voiced their opinions about U.S. beef imports and made them heard.
At this time, believing that the only true stance on this issue comes from the protesters verges on being both morally and intellectually arrogant.
The rights of consumers standing in front of the butcher shops and buying products they want should be respected.
If consumers feel that U.S. beef is unsafe, sales of U.S. beef will go down naturally.
This is the way a free market economy functions. It is the most basic principle of capitalism.
If anti-U.S. beef protesters are really concerned about the health and rights of the public, they need to observe whether or not the order of our free market economy is being followed.
The most important thing is to examine whether or not the origins and dates on U.S. beef imports are accurate; whether or not U.S. beef is sold as Korean beef; or whether beef from cattle over 30 months old is sold as younger beef.
Monitoring the expiration date and origin of beef is the proper way to look after the health of the public.