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Meeting consumer concerns for food safety in South Korea: the importance of food safety and ethics in a globalizing market

By R. B. Kim

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Abstract

As the issue of food safety became one of the important public agenda, consumer concern for food safety became the general public concern. The Korea U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) completion allowing import of U.S. beef to Korea has turned into a massive public uproar and a series of demonstrations, revealing widespread concerns on the part of Korean producers and consumers about government food safety regulations and mishandling of the beef trade requirement. The mishandling of public concerns for BSE on U.S. beef import by the administrators led to a breakdown of the relationship between the public and the government and a loss of consumer confidence in Korea's food safety system. The KORUS FTA beef crisis raised the issues of government accountability and the importance of understanding moral and ethical aspects of food safety management that pose perceived risk for BSE by the Korean citizen. The aim of this paper is to address the importance of understanding consumer concerns, food ethics and of appropriate risk communication in dealing with politically and publically sensitive food safety issues. This is achieved by assessing the factors that contributed to the conflict between the Korean government and the Korean public over the KORUS FTA beef agreement.

Date 2009
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 22
Issue 2
Pages 141-152
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1007/s10806-008-9130-9
Language English
Author Address School of Business, HanYang University, Seoul, Korea Republic. kimrby@gmail.com
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Tags
  1. Agriculture
  2. Asia
  3. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
  4. Cattle
  5. Consumers
  6. Contamination
  7. Developed countries
  8. Ethics
  9. Food economics
  10. Food safety
  11. Free trade
  12. Globalization
  13. Imports
  14. International trade
  15. Laws and regulations
  16. Mad cow disease
  17. Meat production
  18. OECD countries
  19. pathogens
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. regulations
  22. risk
  23. rules
  24. Social psychology and social anthropology
  25. South Korea
  26. Threshold Countries
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed