A lack of expertise

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

A lack of expertise

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is responsible for ensuring safety in the food that arrives on our table. It is responsible for filtering out harmful food and drugs so that people can have no doubts about what they consume.

But the scandal over pesticide-tainted eggs has utterly betrayed consumer confidence. The administration was lax and irresponsible in its supervisory role and sloppy in crisis management. Minister Ryu Young-jin was not even aware of the gravity of the situation when he addressed the issue to the press and lawmakers. He could not properly answer questions from lawmakers. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon bluntly told him not to address the press.

The three opposition parties are demanding Ryu’s resignation. Ryu, a pharmacist-turned lawmaker, was awarded with the office thanks to his contributions to Moon’s campaign. He acted as the Democratic Party’s special adviser for its Busan constituency. The choice of Ryu as the chief of food and drug safety has raised concerns at the time of recruitment.

DP members defended Ryu, claiming the controversy over eggs should be blamed on the past conservative governments. In fact, the problems are deep-rooted. The ministry has not carried out regular inspections even after it drew up guidelines on bifenthrin residue in eggs in 2004. The multi-stage labeling system also has been poorly administered over the past seven years.

However, regardless of who is directly responsible, Ryu raises serious questions about his eligibility in rebuilding consumer confidence in the food administration. His stumbles in responding to the crisis already demonstrated him as an unfit administrator. Public health is too valuable to tolerate any risk.

JoongAng Ilbo, Aug. 14, Page 30

More in Editorials

Moon’s main task

Stop politicizing the disaster

Wrong choice for top envoy

Nonsensical demolishing of weirs

Samsung’s leadership vacuum

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now