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THE RICE AND FALL OF ‘PLASTIC’

27,July, 2017
 

After rigorous testing, Centre dismisses reports of plastic rice and egg; calls it a case of adulteration

In an attempt to put an end to the long-drawn debate on “fake” eggs and rice, the Centre has stepped in. Now, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, after testing samples from across the country, has concluded that there is no such thing as ‘plastic’ rice. It all boils down to adulteration.

The department of food and public distribution had collected samples from 29 states and 7 Union territories in the country and a total of 39,284 samples were analysed. The conclusion was that there was no plastic rice and the department stated that it was actually just poor quality rice.

CR Chaudhury, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public distribution, said: "While plastic rice rumours were doing the rounds on social media, the matter was taken up with the Kerala and Gujarat governments on the basis of an International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) alert. The governments concerned have confirmed that there has been no such reports in their respective states. "

Random sampling was done and from Karnataka, 2,837 samples were received for testing and analysis. It was found that 341 samples were adulterated and the remaining proved that it was low quality rice. The department has launched 26 criminal cases and 112 civil cases on manufacturers and penalized them too. 112 manufacturers have been penalized and penalties totalling Rs. 21,95,900 were received. The sampling and testing was done by officials of the Food safety departments of the respective states to check compliance of standards laid down under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations.

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, YG Shadakshari, Director of Research, University of Agricultural Sciences, said, "It is very expensive to manufacture plastic rice. It is so expensive that it is not possible at all. I really wonder how these rumours came up. As per our testing based on samples received by Bangalore Mirror, we found it was only low quality rice. The government needs to probe whether adulteration is the main cause of all these plastic rumours." While the testing was headed by Prof KV Jamuna, UAS, she said, "When we did detailed research and testing, it was found out that this is totally a case of low quality rice. What residents of the city found was rice that had expired was being sold. Otherwise, something like ‘plastic’ is a bizarre thing to make."

No fake eggs either

Another grave issue that was making rounds on social media was ‘plastic’ eggs. Dr Murthy, Dean of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Science University, who did a complete test on eggs and said they were ‘rotten’ and ‘spoiled’.

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