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SEOUL – After police launched an inquiry into the company’s claim that its yogurt drink was successful in battling the coronavirus, the chairman of a major South Korean dairy company stepped down on Tuesday (May 4).

Hong Won-sik, Chairman of Namyang Dairy Product, resigned three weeks after the initial assertion and its retraction. Consumer outrage was exacerbated by the chief executive’s dismissal.

Dairy Executive South Korea
Image Source: Reuters

“I will resign from Namyang Dairy’s chairman position to take responsibility for all of this and I will not pass on management to my children,” Mr Hong said in a televised public apology.According to Namyang’s regulatory filings, Mr Hong and his family own 53.1 percent of the country’s third-largest dairy company by sales. Namyang Dairy officials could not be contacted for comment right away.

The company’s headquarters were raided by Seoul police last week.Last month, the company announced at a press conference that its Bulgaris yogurt drink was successful in preventing Covid-19, sending its stock up nearly 30%.

Dairy Executive South Korea
Image Source: Rappler

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of South Korea later released a statement claiming that Namyang lacked proof to back up its assertion and accused the business of spreading false information illegally. On Tuesday morning, Namyang Dairy shares were up 16.3 percent against a 0.5 percent fall in the KOSPI.

Source: Reuters

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