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Food News Clipping

October 12 - 15, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday, October 15, 2021

For Coverage: October 12 ~   15, 2021

 World Forestry Congress to Gather in Seoul, May 2022

Summary: The Korea Forest Service (KFS) reported that the 15th World Forestry Congress (WFC), hosted by the UN FAO, will take place at the COEX Convention Center Seoul, May 2-6, 2022.  KFS said that the event is the largest and most influential event in the international forestry industry.  KFS and FAO launched an on-line consumer outreach campaign for WFC 2022 on October 14.  More details of WFC2022 are available at


Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency to Investigate Illegal Activities such as False Origin Labeling of Rice and Processed Foods
Summary: The Gyeonggi-do Special Police Corps will investigate 30 rice processing companies from 18th to 29th this month to stop illegal activities such as falsely labeling the origin of rice.  The main focus includes falsely labeling low-quality agricultural products as local specialties or origin.  Products caught will be seized and discarded according to the law.

15% of Korean Families Have Pet Animals, KSO
Summary: According to the Korea National Statistics Office (NSO) report, 15 percent (3.1 million) of Korean families had pet animals as of November 2020.  The ratio was significantly lower than MFDS data (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs).  MFDS reported that 27.7 percent (6.4 million) of Korean families had pet animals in 2020.  NSO commented during the national assembly audit on October 12 that NSO data should be credible as it was based on surveys of all families in the country whereas MFDS data was based on on-line surveys of 5,000 sample families.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Improves Junk/Illegal Food Reporting Service to Make it Easier to Use
Summary: The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has improved the consumer reporting service site for junk and illegal food to make it easier and more convenient to use.  Previously, it was difficult to see because it showed all the contents on one page.  Now the reporting procedure is divided into four steps so that the procedure can be better understood.  In particular, there will be a new automatic service that will recognize the product and manufacturer once consumers enter the product number.

It was Not Korean Beef … Milk Cows Changed to “Domestic Beef Ribs” on the Package
Summary: As HMR foods are in vogue, consumers should pay more attention to galbitang products at grocery stores.  The ingredients are marked as domestic beef ribs, making it easy for consumers to think of them as Korean beef.  However, the actual ingredient used in galbitang was milk cow meat.  As Milk cows are for producing milk, they repeatedly become pregnant and give birth.  This makes the meat tough in quality.  It has been found that a companies that supply large grocery stores have sold more than 580,000 products since 2017 by marking them as beef instead of milk cow.

"Economic Situation has Deteriorated since the Pandemic" According to 44% of Korean Adults in a Survey
Summary: 44 percent of Korean adults say their economic situation has deteriorated during last year according to a recent survey by the Korea Social Opinion Institute (KSOI).  Another 48 percent of adults answered that their economic situation remains pretty much the same.  Only 6.4 percent of adults answered that their economic situation improved during the period.  People in low income groups and the self-employed had more negative opinions about their economic shift during the pandemic.   For example, 65 percent of self-employed business owners answered that their economic situation had deteriorated.
Korean Consumers' Direct Imports from Foreign On-line Shops Totaled $3.8 Billion USD in 2020 … Healthy Functional Foods were Top Purchases at $746 Million
Summary: According to the Korea Customs Office (KCO), Korean consumers' direct imports from foreign on-line shops totaled $3.8 billion in 2020 (64.6 million shipments).  Consumer direct imports increased 2.3 times in value and 3.6 times by number of shipments from 2016.  Healthy functional foods were the leading product category in consumer direct imports, accounting for $746 million and 12.3 million shipments. 

Korea Imports 280,000 MT of Kimchi from China Each Year
Summary: According to the Korea Statistics Office (KSO), Korea imported 280,000 metric tons of Kimchi from China in 2020 ($152 million in import value).  Despite elevated consumer food safety concerns, many restaurants and foodservice establishments continue to serve imported Chinese kimchi due to its lower price.  According to a survey by the Korea Foodservice Industry Institute in April 2021, 43.1 percent of local restaurants were serving imported Chinese kimchi. 


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