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The mini-cup jelly court cases: a comparative analysis from a food ethics perspective

By SukShin Kim

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This study compares and analyzes separate court rulings in three countries on "mini-cup jelly" (a firm jelly containing konjac and packaged in bite-sized plastic cups) from a food ethics perspective. While the Korean and US courts decided that the mini-cup jelly was defective, and that the manufacturers or importers were liable for damages in these cases, the Japanese court took an opposing stance in favor of the manufacturer. However, from an absolute and fundamental viewpoint, the jelly was unacceptable, ethically as well as legally, because it was unsafe, unwholesome, and unfit for children's consumption. I argue that the ignoring or sidelining of fundamental principles of food ethics, especially "respect for life," was at the core of these cases. If the manufacturers and importers had considered and prioritized the principles of food ethics over and above big sales and profits, the choking accidents could have been prevented. To conclude, it is very important to minimize risks by applying the principles of food ethics at the outset before any accidents can occur.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 27
Issue 5
Pages 735-748
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
Publisher Springer
Language English
Author Address Department of Food Science and Nutrition, The Catholic University of Korea, 43 Jibong-ro, Wonmi-gu, Buchon, Kyonggi-do 422-743, Korea
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. APEC countries
  2. Asia
  3. Consumption
  4. Contamination
  5. Courts
  6. Developed countries
  7. Developing countries
  8. Economics
  9. Ethics
  10. Food economics
  11. Food production
  12. Food quality
  13. Foods
  14. Food safety
  15. Food science
  16. Japan
  17. Law Enforcement
  18. Laws and regulations
  19. North America
  20. OECD countries
  21. peer-reviewed
  22. residues
  23. risk
  24. South Korea
  25. Threshold Countries
  26. United States of America
  1. peer-reviewed