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Koreans Name Food Safety as Biggest Headache

Posted October. 18, 2008 09:12,   


A survey released yesterday said food safety is more worrying for Koreans than national security, with 60 percent of the people believing society has grown more dangerous than 10 years ago.

The Korea National Statistical Office in May conducted a survey on transportation, security and environment of 42,000 people age 15 or over belonging to 20,000 households.

On security, 69 percent said they are worried over contaminated food and food poisoning. Public awareness of food safety has grown since the resumption of U.S. beef imports became a social issue when the survey was conducted. Given the melamine scare, however, Korean concern over food safety is expected to remain high.

Second on the list of things making Koreans uneasy was food security including the country’s increasing dependence on food imports (68.6 percent); information security (65.1 percent); and traffic accidents (61.2 percent). On the other hand, 32.5 percent said they worried over national security, including the possibility of war with North Korea and Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

On if they were worried over imported farm produce, 87 percent said "yes" but only 40.4 percent expressed concern over the safety of domestic farm produce.

Sixty percent also said they feel Korean society has become more dangerous than a decade ago, and half predicted a more dangerous society in the next 10 years. Only 16 percent said Korean society has become safer than 10 years ago and 19 percent said the country will grow safer 10 years later.

Nearly half of parents age 30 or over (48.3 percent) want to send their children overseas to study. A third of parents said they want to nurture their children into global talents and a quarter said they do not trust the Korean education system.

The majority 79.8 percent of households said they are burdened by education cost, higher than 73.4 percent in 2000 and 77.4 percent in 2004.