Korean J Med Hist.  2016 Aug;25(2):205-239. 10.13081/kjmh.2016.25.205.

The Food Hygiene Institutionalization of Park Junghee Government in 1960s

  • 1Department of History, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, KOREA. doctorsugar@naver.com


This article investigates the historical background and distinctive characteristics of the Korean food hygiene policy during the 1960s. The 3 main findings of this study are as follows. First, Food Sanitation Law in the 1960s was established too hastily and thus mistakenly accommodated two discordant laws as American style law and empire of Japan style law. The legislation of Food Sanitation Law was progressed too quickly for the justification purpose of 5·16 military coup, as one of reorganization tasks of the Korean legal structure established under Japanese imperialism, Second, a division in charge of food hygiene in the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs was newly installed in 1967, as an outcome reflecting a variety of social demand, at least, minimally. Rongalite shock in Korea prompted diverse suggestions for preventing unfortunate accidents from toxic and harmful food. However, Korean Government did not provide the division with necessary budget and manpower to implement relevant regulations. Third, "the special law against health crimes" legislated in 1969, was characterized by severe punishment policy which might be performed afterward but not by protective measures against accidents in advance. The law enabled regulators to punish corrupt dealers up to life sentence. For the constitutional amendment for President for the third term, Park Chung-hee's regime tried to calm down the complaints of people. In sum, the regulations of Korean food hygiene in the 1960s were identified as government practices using an interesting combination of low costs and severe punishments.


food hygiene; harmful additives; adulterated toxic harmful food; Rongalite shock; the special law enforcement of health crime; health administration
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