NATIONAL

Ruling party, govt. decide to destroy all eggs from insecticide-tainted farms

By Yonhap
  • Published : Aug 16, 2017 - 10:08
  • Updated : Aug 16, 2017 - 11:03

The ruling Democratic Party and government agreed Wednesday to recall and destroy all egg products from local farms contaminated with any insecticide amid escalating food safety concerns here, party officials said.

The agreement came two days after some eggs at a farm with 80,000 hens in Namyangju, east of Seoul, were found to contain the insecticide fipronil, triggering the inspection of all egg farms across the country.

After a party-government policy coordination meeting, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said that four of the 245 inspected farms have so far been found to be tainted with insecticides or other pesticides, and that contaminated eggs have not spread widely across the country.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon speaks during a meeting of senior officials from the ruling Democratic Party, government and presidential office Cheong Wa Dae at the National Assembly in Seoul on Aug. 16, 2017. (Yonhap)

"Of the total 1,239 farms, we have so far looked into 245 farms, four of which were found to be contaminated," Lee told reporters, referring to the ongoing inspection slated to end Friday.

"But it is not that (the tainted eggs) have spread as pervasively as many people fear," he added.

The prime minister, in addition, said that all eggs from the contaminated farms will be discarded, while those from the untainted farms will be distributed for sale.

"A little more pesticide tends to be used during the summer season due to mites living on hens," Lee said.

During the policy coordination meeting, the party and government also agreed to establish a "job security" fund to support micro-businesses that would be affected by the minimum wage hike plan.

Last month, the tripartite commission of government, labor and management agreed to raise the minimum wage to 7,530 won ($6.71) per hour next year, up 16.4 percent from the current 6,470 won. The government hopes to increase the minimum wage to 10,000 won by 2022.

The ruling camp, in addition, agreed to push to introduce a child benefit program next July, under which parents with kids aged 0 to 5 will receive 100,000 won a month. It also decided to increase the basic pension for senior citizens to 250,000 won a month from next April. (Yonhap)