SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — The Ministry of Agriculture is set to look into issues of corruption surrounding the recent egg contamination scandal that swept across South Korea, after discovering some former government officials now work for private environmental certification issuers.
“Once the contamination scandal calms down, we plan to look into the possible causes behind the issue, including the shoddy process of issuing environment-friendly certification,” an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) said.
The MAFRA’s decision comes after the government branch learned former employees at the National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service (NAQS) were working at some of the privately-owned agricultural inspection bodies, after retiring from the organization previously responsible for issuing environment-friendly certification.
During the investigation into the egg contamination scandal, it was found many of the tainted eggs that were branded ‘environment-friendly’ came from companies where former NAQS employees now work.
Against this backdrop, accusations have been brewing that the personal ties between former agriculture inspection officials and employees at the MAFRA worsened the egg contamination scandal, during which more than 45 farms were found to have been producing eggs tainted with harmful pesticides.
“As issues of business misconduct and corruption continue to be brought up, we are going to inspect the general state (of the egg industry),” Kim Kyung-gyu, an official at the MAFRA said.
“We’ll make sure to introduce stricter standards and organizations that fail to rise to the task will be either dismantled or incorporated with others,” Kim added.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)