'Drugs are not like Lord Voldemort'

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'Drugs are not like Lord Voldemort'

The use of the word mayak, the Korean word for drug, in food marketing will soon be banned. In Korea, mayak is often added in front of the name of a product, like mayak gimbap or mayak hot dog, to imply that something tastes so good it is addictive.
The Act on Labeling and Advertising of Foods proposed on Aug. 8 calls for the use of words referring to harmful substances in food labeling to be banned. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has also been preparing follow-up measures since the revision of the law.
On Tuesday, an ordinance to improve food labelling culture was submitted to the Seoul Metropolitan Council. It stipulates that the mayor of Seoul should make efforts to prevent words like mayak from being overused in food labeling and permits the mayor to establish relevant plans or conduct research on the issue.

However, the change causes difficulties for those working in the restaurant industry. For instance, some might need to change food packing, as their brand name contains drug-related expressions.
According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the number of restaurants using names that include mayak stands at about 203.
As expressions such as “drug” and “addictive” are normally used among snack food restaurants, where the cost of replacing the signs and menu could be a big burden to owners.
“Those names that contain drug-related words have been normalized.”
“My nine-year-old kid asked me ‘Dugs are dangerous. Why is there such a thing as 'Mayak Tteokbokki?’”
“Drugs are not like Lord Voldemort, He Who Must Not Be Named.”
“They should ban the actual use of drugs, not the word. Small businesses will be the only ones affected.”
“We better ban the use of "killer" as an adjective as well.”

BY KIM HA-YEONG, BY HAN HYE-RIM [han.hyerim1@joongang.co.kr]
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