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PM orders food safety inspection amid scare over contaminated eggs

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon ordered the government Thursday to conduct an all-out inspection to make sure that chickens and processed foods are safe from insecticide-contaminated eggs even after all tainted eggs are removed from the market.

Lee also said that the egg scandal can be brought under control before the end of this week, even as eggs from dozens of more farms were found to have been contaminated with chemicals, including those producing environment-friendly eggs.

"After this insecticide scandal is over, and egg supplies are normalized within this week, we shouldn't think it's over. We should conduct an all-out inspection of related problems," Lee said during a government policy coordination meeting.


"We have to look into whether any processed foods in which contaminated eggs were used still remain on the market, whether chickens are safe, and if there is any possibility of processed foods containing contaminated eggs being supplied for school meals," he said.

Lee also ordered the government Thursday to take steps to minimize any negative effects escalating trade tensions between the United States and China could have on South Korea's economy.

Tensions between the world's two biggest economies have been deepening as US President Donald Trump ordered an investigation into China's intellectual property practices after months of unsuccessful efforts to enlist Beijing's help in reining in North Korea.

China responded angrily, saying it won't sit idly if the US takes steps hurting their trade ties.

"About 25 percent of our total exports go to China, and some 13 percent to the US. A trade row between the US and China can never be somebody else's business," Lee said during a government policy coordination meeting.

"While closely monitoring the situation, the finance ministry, the commerce ministry and other agencies should look into what effects this will have on our economy and come up with countermeasures in advance." (Yonhap)