Direct imports of hazardous food items double over 5 years

입력 2023. 2. 8. 12:21 수정 2023. 2. 28. 13:51
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South Korean consumers are exposed to hazardous materials that have not been tested to be safe and trigger side effects when misused as more people opt to purchase items from overseas online amid high inflation.

According to The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Tuesday, the cumulative number of hazardous food items that arrived in Korea via overseas direct purchases reached 3,203 in 2023, up from 1,602 in 2018. Actual distribution of such hazardous food goods may be even more than that as the authority’s figures are drawn from sample inspections without prior notice.

The rising number of hazardous food products in the overseas online shopping scene comes as not every single of them go through the usual domestic clearance as required for all import goods. The government instead conducts a random inspection and when detected as hazardous, the sales website gets blocked and buyers are suspended from operations.

Website blocks, nonetheless, can be bypassed and overseas business operators that sell the same items are out of the domestic legal framework.

Some of the hazardous items include prescription-only pharmaceuticals and medical products from overseas shopping sites and some that are found to have had substances in them that may trigger stokes, myocardial infarctions, liver damage, and fetal malformations.

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