Go to contents

Dumpling Industry “We Are Stuffed with Issues too”

Posted June. 14, 2004 22:57,   


Current Dumpling Industry Situation –

“Since the dumpling scandal, sales have gone down to one-tenth of the level before, and it does not seem that it will recover soon,” said a related official at Company A, a dumpling company which used to record annual sales of 20 billion won with OEM and self-production methods.

“We do not have anything to do with this scandal, but the sales went down to 25 percent of our usual number,” said Ms. Lee, 55, who runs a hand-made dumpling store in a department store in Gangnam. “We fear it would have negative effects if we advertise that we don’t use illegal ingredients, so we really can’t do anything.”

The industry is concerned that the sales drop might bring about a chain-reaction of bankruptcies of the small and medium sized dumpling companies because dumpling companies have to spend billions of won in managing facility investments such as instant freezing facilities.

The Manufacturers Rebut—

“We have come to produce substandard dumplings as a result, but we were victims also who did not know about the facts. So, we hope people understand that,” appealed the companies.

The industry first points out the government’s lenience in the food examination system. They argue how they could have not believed it when the companies which produced dumpling stuffing presented the food authorization certificate released by the food examination agency publicly acknowledged by the Korea Food and Drug Administration.

“We could not detect any problems when examining the dried radish when they delivered it, and we had no idea that there would be any defects since the company presented the public food authorization certificate,” said an employee at Company S, to which Eutteum Food provided substandard dumpling stuffing.

The industry argued, “The government already knew about the substandard ingredients being distributed but did not take a proactive action to stop this, so we had come to use the substandard ingredients.” It is also said that the Paju, Gyeonggi, which has jurisdiction over the area, found out the illegal practice of Euteum Food but were lenient in regulation, management, or supervision responsibilities on it and made the problem worse and worse.

Sound Consumption of Dumplings Should Be Revived –

“Regular dumpling consumption should be revived,” agreed the related officials in regard of the issue.

A related official at the Food and Drug Administration said, “The dumplings with the problems were mostly sold already or discarded, so the dumplings that are distributed now were made according to the standards.”

Secretary at the Seoul Environmental Federation, Ms. Oh Yoo-jin, 34, said, “It is important that the government lead an atmosphere in which there is no company that will be sacrificed in this scandal along with the people’s cooperation.”

Ms. Kim Eun-hui, 36 years old and Team Director of Food Safety Action of the Korea Federation of Co-ops, said, “The consumers’ turning away from dumplings has derived from the disbelief in the government,” and added, “If the government provides reliable examination results about food, the people will come back to buy the dumplings at any time.”

Ms. Baek Hye-won, 45-year-old dumpling store owner in Seoul, said, “From about one or two days ago, some customers are asking whether our hand-made dumplings are harmful,” and added, “If the trust is regained that our food is safe and reliable, the customers will come back eventually.”