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No.529 2007.11.15 Seoul YWCA
The genes of Korean beef being sold at restaurants larger than 300㎡ located in Seoul are analyzed

Press Release No. 529, Issued on 15 Nov. 2007

 

In this week’s edition, we carry a corrected version of the article on Korean beef by Seoul YWCA reported in our latest edition (No. 528)

Seoul YWCA

The genes of Korean beef being sold at restaurants larger than 300㎡ located in Seoul are analyzed
- Beef of milk cows and imported cows are changed into Korean beef at 11% of the restaurants -

The Information Center at Seoul YWCA (President: Hyeong Kim) had made the transformation of the beef of milk cows and imported cows into Korean beef publicized in the media in 2004 (41 restaurants) and also in 2005 (80 restaurants), 29% and 30% of the total restaurants surveyed. In 2006 the relevant materials including the signatures of many people for the revision of the Law of Food Hygiene were submitted to appeal for the revision of the Law to settle the system of the indication of the origin of meat at restaurants, and as a result the Law of Food Hygiene was amended on Jan. 1st 2007 to implement the system of the indication of the origin of meat at restaurants but it was limited to beef only.
Afterwards, for the early settlement of the system of the indication of the origin of meat at restaurants, the Seoul YWCA conducted gene analysis judgment analysis of the Korean beef for 109 restaurants by random sampling among the 330 restaurants which said in their menus that they were selling Korean beef through inspection of realities for 1,352 places of larger than 300㎡ in Seoul.

The results of the analysis showed that while 97 pieces (89%) out of the total 109 specimens turned out to be genuine Korean beef, 12 restaurants (11%) among the restaurants did not use Korean beef but used milk cows, and even some turned out to have the genes of the cows that are probably milk cows or imported cows.

Meanwhile, considering that the objects of the inspection were the restaurants that are larger than 300㎡ and exemplary restaurants, the change into Korean cows adds to the seriousness of the matter.

▣ Purchase of specimens: Aug. 22, 2007 ~ Aug, 30, 2007

▣ Period of Analysis: Sep. 3 ~ Sep. 17, 2007

Objects of inspection: the 115 restaurants selected in random which is larger than 300㎡, located in Seoul and subject to the system of the indication of the origin of meat

Analysis agency: Test & Examination Bureau, Korea Consumers Association

Survey results

Among the restaurants larger than 300㎡ located in Seoul that are subject to the system of the indication of the origin of meat the 109 places of which menus had Korean beef (mainly unfrozen sirloin, Jumuleok, seasoned Galbi and seasoned Bulgogi) were chosen randomly and their meat was sent out for analysis. The results of the analysis were: while 97 places (89%) sold genuine Korean beef, 12 restaurants (11%) among the restaurants did not use Korean beef but used the meat of beef cattle, milk cows or imported cows.
The 12 restaurants which disguised the meat of milk cows or imported cows as genuineKoeran beef were: U restaurant in Jongno-gu (seasoned Galbi), M restaurant (seasoned Galbi), N restaurant (Jumuleok) and J restaurant (seasoned Bulgogi) in Jung-gu, U restaurant in Junglang-gu (unfrozen sirloin), S restaurant in Eunpyeong-gu (raw meat), J restaurant (unfrozen sirloin) in Mapo-gu, S restaurant (unfrozen Galbi) and D restaurant (unfrozen sirloin) in Yangcheon-gu, H restaurant (seasoned Bulgogi) in Yeongdeungpo-gu, C restaurant (seasoned Bulgogi) in Seocho-gu and C restaurant (seasoned Bulgogi) in Gangnam-gu.  

Among them the name of one place (H restaurant) can be easily misunderstood as they are selling genuine Korean beef only, and 3 other restaurants include their name signifying genuine Korean beef in their receipt thus deliberately deceiving customers.

Moreover, considering that most of the restaurants larger than 300㎡
that are subject to the system of the indication of the origin of the meat are exemplary restaurants which claim to use Korean beef only, the ratio of11% is a rather high and their behavior of transforming the meat of milk cows, beef cattle or imported beef is more serious in that they must be exemplary.
Moreover, with the thoughts in mind that the inspection this time was limited to a part of the menus at some of the restaurants larger than 300㎡, the phenomenon will be much more serious if the objects of inspection are expanded to all the menus at restaurants larger than 300㎡
or to all the ordinary restaurants in Seoul which amount to more than 120,000 places.
In a similar inspection conducted by YWCA in 2004 (for 41 restaurants) and 2005 (80 restaurants), such cases of illegal dealing were committed by 29% and 30% in respective year.

As such phenomena continue to occur, it is recommended that the existing system of the indication of the origin of meat does not stop with the marking of the name of the restaurants and the inspection of the documents of the place of origin issued by the sellers of the meat but be extended to a more active and positive methods such as the regular DNA examination for the meat supplied to procure the ‘Korean meat’
in a safe and reliable manner. The government will have to expand and settle the ‘system of the indication of the origin of meat’ more actively and prepare fundamental measures to accomplish the goal to develop the industry of Korean beef, satisfy consumers rights to know and secure safe dining table.

Problems and suggestions

The problems found and suggestions on the basis of the inspection this are as follows:

First, expand and early settle the implementation of the system of the indication of the origin of meat at restaurants
- The expansion of the system of the indication of the origin of meat at restaurants is an essential to protect stockbreeding families and promote the safety of consumers’
diet and health rights.
- The measure is essential to the satisfaction of consumers’
rights to know and the securing of the transparency in the dealing of stock farm products at the final consumption stage.

Second, strengthen the control and supervision of illegal dealings by supervisory agency
- Safe and trustworthy foodstuff must be secured for consumers in more active and positive ways through regular test analysis for the meat sold at restaurants along with the document inspection during the distribution stage.

Third, strengthen the punishment for illegal dealing
- Stronger punishment is necessary to root out deceitful and illegal dealings and maintain fair business transactions.

For detailed test results and reference materials, see attached file.

▶ Inquiry (person in charge): Deputy General Mgr. Yong-Hee Jeong (02-3705-6064)

 



#701, Seoul YWCA, 1-1, Myeongdong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, (Postal code: 100-021)
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