Namyang climbs down on miracle claim for Bulgaris
Namyang Dairy Products apologized for claiming its Bulgaris yogurt drink prevents Covid-19 infection.
Namyang “is sorry for causing misunderstandings to consumers linked to Covid-19,” said the company in a statement Friday.
It added that an experiment touting the amazing ability of Bulgaris announced on April 13 symposium “could not have been concluded since it was in a cell stage, not a clinical demonstration.”
At a symposium hosted by the Korea Research Institute of Biomedical Science on Tuesday, Park Jong-su, head of Namyang’s internal research institute, said Bulgaris reduces the chance of a Covid-19 infection by 77.78 percent .
Park also said that the drink helped remove 99.999 percent of Influenza A (H1N1) virus present in the cells tested.
Bulgaris is a dairy drink that premiered in 1991. Its sales on Tuesday and Wednesday more than doubled at discount supermarkets. Sales at convenience stores also jumped.
In its statement Friday, Namyang vowed to “put in efforts to develop [food] products that could contribute to raising the health of citizens while proving the effectiveness and value of fermented drinks based on the latest experiment on cells.” The company said it will conduct animal testing and clinical demonstrations of Bulgaris.
Following the rise in sales and many doubting news stories, the Ministry of Drug and Safety said Thursday that it was looking into Namyang possibly violating advertising laws.
On Friday, the company's shares dropped 5.25 percent during intra-day trading. They closed 4.81 percent down at 326,500 won ($292).
Retail investors bought more than 6 billion won worth of Namyang shares on Tuesday and Wednesday, when its stock surged.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]