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[EXCLUSIVE] ‘KeTox was chemical brokerage company’: former CEO

Danish chemical KeTox -- which allegedly supplied PGH to Korean company Butterflyeffect -- denied that it had manufactured the substance, but said that it had served as a chemical broker that distributed PGH to Danish companies.

In an interview with The Korea Herald this week, the now-defunct company’s former CEO Frede Damgaard said that KeTox mainly imported PGH from Austria to Denmark for agricultural use.

“We didn’t manufacture PGH, we only bought it,” Damgaard said.

“(We bought it for) different purposes, but mainly for agricultural purposes,” he added.

Lim Heung-kyu of the Asian Citizen’s Center for Environment and Health told The Korea Herald said that evidence still suggested otherwise

“Since (the) material safety data sheet mentions KeTox as the manufacturer, we still believe the company was engaged in PGH sales over the disputed humidifier sterilizer.”

According to the material safety data sheet issued in November 2001 by the Danish government, its “manufacturer/supplier” is written as KeTox. 

MSMD issued in November 2001 (the Asian Citizen's Center for Environment and Health)
MSMD issued in November 2001 (the Asian Citizen's Center for Environment and Health)

On his previous claim that Cefu humidifier sterilizer used PHMG from China, instead of PGH from Denmark’s KeTox, Damgaard said that he does not have any information about trade involving Chinese companies, saying it was his mere “guess.”

“I have nothing to do with it, I don’t know anything about China. I only think that (the Korean company) might have been buying other products from China,” Damgaard added.

On Thursday, a taped conversation with Choi Ye-yong of ACCEH showed that Damgaard had denied commercial sales of PGH to Korea. However, the firm had sent a 40-ml PGH sample for agricultural use, along with a material safety data sheet, to an unnamed Korean company in 2007.

He had also argued that the chemicals used in Butterflyeffect’s brand Cefu -- one of the sterilizers blamed for the deaths since 2011 -- were from China.

By Kim Da-Sol

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