Seoul, South Korea – The chairman of one of South Korea’s largest dairy companies resigns over scandal in which his company was accused of deliberately spreadingthat his yogurt helps prevent infections.
While leaving the head of the company, Hong Won-sik and other members of his family will retain their dominant stake in Namyang Dairy Products.
Namyang funded research he actively promoted through the media and a symposium he funded last month that claimed his Bulgaris yogurt drinks were effective in reducing the risk of coronavirus infections.
Namyang’s share price rose temporarily before the Food and Drug Safety Ministry sued the company for false advertising, saying the research was questionable and did not involve any animal testing or clinical trials.
Police searched Namyang’s headquarters in Seoul last week. Namyang CEO Lee Kwang-bum also offered to step down following a public outcry.
“I express my sincere apologies for causing the disappointment and anger of the people of our country over the Bulgarian controversy at a time when the nation is going through a difficult time because of COVID-19,” said Hong, heartbreakingly. . He said he would take “all the responsibilities” by stepping down as president and vowed not to pass on management rights to his children, which is a much criticized practice in South Korean family businesses.