SEOUL, Feb.29 (Korea Bizwire) – Retailers are biting their nails with news spreading quickly that herbicides have been detected in 14 popular German beers.
The timing couldn’t have been worse, as the popularity of imported beer is soaring at large discount stores and convenience stores.
According to those in distribution industry, domestic retailers are checking with importers to see if the products they have in stock match the products that a German environmental group claims contain herbicides.
Emart currently sells seven brands (Krombacher, OeTTINGER, Bitburger, Beck’s, Warsteiner, Erdinger, Franziskaner) among the 14 brands said to contain herbicides.
Emart officials commented that they are waiting for an official statement from the German manufacturers, as there is no international industry standard for glyphosate content, the herbicide component that is at the middle the controversy. However, since the harmful substances were not detected tests conducted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the products are still being sold.
Emart officials add that they will follow any additional guidelines set by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety regarding the matter.
Representatives of Lotte Mart, which carries four brands among the 14 including Beck’s, Erdinger, Franziskaner, and Paulaner, also commented that they will intervene if the products they sell are confirmed to be the same products that caused controversy in Germany.
Industry players are baffled because the incident happened in Germany, which is one of the most powerful nations when it comes to beer, along with Japan, Belgium, and Ireland. Korean retailers are concerned that the incident will influence the popularity of imported beer, which has grown significantly over the past few years.
Among the 170,919 tons of beer imported last year, German beer (24,874 tons) had a 14.6 percent share of the total, ranking second after Japanese beer (46,244 tons).
Unlike the controversy over carcinogens in processed meats, industry watchers say that the danger of the harmful substances detected in German beer is unclear, making it difficult to conclude that the amount consumed regularly by consumers will cause harm to the human body. However, many observers remain concerned that the controversy will create distrust in imported beer.
By M.H.Lee (email@example.com)