YEONGCHEON, Aug. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — A South Korean farmer is being forced to close his organic farm despite raising free-range chickens without pesticides or herbicides, as toxic pesticides thought to be used by a previous landowner were found in both eggs and chickens during the investigation into the egg contamination scandal that has swept the nation.
“From today, I’m closing the farm. Though I did my best, I didn’t realize the land was contaminated. My business has been devastated but what else can I do?” said Lee Mong-hui, a farmer in his mid 50s who is facing business closure in the midst of the egg scandal.
For the past eight years, Lee has raised some 8,500 chickens at nine free-range farms covering an area of 5,940 square meters.
Lee let his chickens roam around freely without the use of pesticides or herbicides, and supplied eggs which were priced much higher than usual thanks to the better living conditions.
However, despite Lee’s eco-friendly effort, the controversial toxic substance DDT was found at his farms, which he thinks is from the orchard that used to occupy the same land.
Though a new investigation will be launched to find out the cause of the contamination, Lee’s farm will nonetheless be closed, with the remaining chickens and facilities set to be culled and shut down to prevent further damage.
Lee hopes his story will be a catalyst for change, and wants the government to come up with measures to prevent others from having similar experience.
“Though my business is finished, I hope a new law will be introduced to prevent other people from experiencing the same hardships,” Lee said.