Pre-empting tainted food

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Pre-empting tainted food

Adding to rising concern about Chinese baby formula products, it has been revealed that melamine, the chemical in question, has been found in regular milk. Governments around the world are rushing to come up with measures, including import bans. Initially, Korea did not appear to be affected by the contaminated milk products. However, authorities have since said that about 3,041 tons of Chinese chocolate products have been imported, in addition to a large quantity of processed foods containing powdered milk such as breads and cookies.

Korea is no longer a safe zone from the fear of melamine-contaminated milk from China.

The Food and Drug Administration of Korea has said it will conduct additional tests for melamine on Chinese cookie imports when they are inspected at the border. Authorities have also promised to collect samples from the products currently being sold in the domestic market for testing.

The products are mainly consumed by children and youngsters, and the nation is extremely concerned about the issue. The authorities must conduct thorough examinations and make the outcomes public quickly and transparently.

Furthermore, inspections on sources of origin must be strengthened and violations must be punished sternly. Even large companies are selling confectionery such as chocolates with ambiguous labels of origin, only marking them as “imported.” Consumers can never feel safe with such vague labeling.

Globalization is a trend that we cannot fight against. But we can act to prevent harmful food products, such as kimchi containing parasite eggs, bleached steamed rice, carcinogen-carrying fish with dioxin-tainted cheese, from being served on our dining tables.

The government will never be able to protect the people’s health by acting only after problems are identified. Monitoring must be reinforced at production sites overseas and quarantine inspections must be thorough.

Food safety is the basis of a country’s advancement.
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