South Korean warning on eating octopus heads
Friday 22 October 2010
Authorities in the South Korean capital are trying to untangle themselves from a slimy row: how many octopus heads is it safe to eat?
The dish is a firm favourite on the peninsula – for its apparent aphrodisiac qualities.
In September, the Seoul city government enraged restauratuers and the fishing industry when it announced octopus heads contained hazardous amounts of cadmium, a carcinogen that poisons the liver and kidneys.
It advised against eating more than two heads a day.
Enraged fishermen threatened to sue the government and their cause caught the imagination of the public when MPs representing their constituents took an octopus into a national assembly session, causing laughter as it tried to escape the jar.
Lee Wan-beom, a fisherman from the county of Muan, told the Korea JoongAng Daily that prices for octopus had halved since the government's warning.
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