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Namyang Dairy: Furious investors calling for a boycott over false COVID-19 claims
Namyang Dairy is in trouble after a number of furious investors have called for a boycott. They urged the consumers to stop buying the company’s products.
Namyang’s COVID-19 claim
The root cause of this action from the investors was Namyang Dairy’s claim that its Bulgaris yogurt drink can help fight the symptoms of COVID-19. Last week, the South Korean food and dairy company said that its stock price increased by more than eight percent on April 13 and continued to go up to over 28% the next day.
At that time, it was reported that Namyang’s share surge was caused by the consumers’ rush to buy its Bulgaris yogurt after it released a statement saying that the product can prevent COVID-19. However, health officials are questioning the company’s claims and suggested that they are false and have no scientific basis.
The controversial claim was announced during a symposium hosted by the Korea Research & Institute of BioMedical last week. At the event, Namyang’s internal research institute presented the results of its research on Yogurt drink called Bulgaris, as per The Korea Herald.
“We’re the first firm in the country that has discovered fermented dairy products are effective in preventing influenza and COVID-19 viruses,” Company’s representative, Park Jong Su, said at the symposium. “Our experiments showed that Bulgaris helped remove the influenza A (H1N1) virus at a 99.999 percent rate of success, and the COVID-19 at a 77.8 percent success rate.”
S. Korea’s food and drug ministry reacts
The experts from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency immediately questioned Namyang’s statements about its Bulgaris yogurt. They are asking about the effectiveness claim against COVID-19 and they concluded that the dairy firm exaggerated the research results that it released in the previous symposium.
The Korea Times reported that because of this, the investors are now taking action against Namyang. They are using social media to ask the public to join in their calls to boycott the company’s products. Apparently, they are angry not just due to the coronavirus statements but also because they believe Namyang lied to manipulate the stock price.
Meanwhile, amid the backlash from the public and health experts, Namyang Dairy issued an apology for the confusion. "We apologize to our customers for causing misunderstanding with our research results,” a company official stated. “The test was not based on human testing, but at the cellular stage, from which we couldn't have concluded its effectiveness against COVID-19."