Many years ago when I first came to Korea as a young soldier I remember that there was a brand of soju that we were prohibited from partaking in because it was alleged to contain flormaldehyde. I have no idea if it was true or just a widely accepted Korean urban legend but apparently there is some recent concern with Chilsung’s brand of soju.
The liquor manufacturer has faced controversy over the use of regenerated alkaline water in its low-alcohol soju, Cheoumcheoreom.
Lotte Chilsung Beverage uses the regenerated water, whose acidity level is lower than natural water, as a base for soju, a distilled alcoholic beverage native to Korea,.
Since its first use in 2006, the firm has promoted the benefits of the alkaline water, differentiating its product from other soju brands and emphasizing the higher the pH of water, the better it will be for people’s health.
But, as the Korea Times points out, some people are more than a little sceptical.
The controversy has recently resurfaced as a cable channel aired a program last March raising allegations that the regenerated alkaline water should not be used as a base for soju as it causes muscle pain and skin reactions.
The company has denounced these allegations and has assured the public that its product is safe and examines the water twice as often as is required by law. It has also vowed…
to take stern action against any malicious rumors against its product, adding one person, surnamed Kim, was recently ordered to pay 20 million in damages by the Supreme Court for spreading malicious rumors and was also indicted on defamation charges.
At the end of the ad, the company also refuted rumors that the company financially sponsors people and organizations that are threats to the nation’s security with part of its profits.