Authorities say there is currently no report of ‘plastic rice’ present here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Plastic rice is reportedly made by mixing a small amount of rice with the deadly plastic and then sprayed with a fragrance to create the original smell of the rice.
The concern of artificial rice has become a major nuisance among the Asian countries, especially in China. Recently a video shared on a Chinese social media messaging app showed workers at a factory transforming strips of plastic into rice-like granules.
Ezra Ledger, Chief Executive Director at the SVG Bureau of Standards told WEFM News that to date his agency has not received any complaints of the presence of this commodity here.
Mr. Ledger said the SVG Bureau of Standards will maintain an interest in this matter and will continue to work with other agencies here including the Ministry of Trade to ensure that food commodities that are present in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are safe for use.
Since the SVG Bureau of Standards can only regulate goods that are traded, Mr. Ledger said persons receiving food commodities such as rice, privately in their barrels from overseas, will need to exercise a greater degree of caution and ensure they read the labels to know the origin of the products.
Reports of the fake rice have surfaced in Jamaica and in Nigeria where customs officials confiscated 2.5 tonnes of “plastic rice” smuggled into the country by unscrupulous businessmen.
Customs officers at a terminal in Singapore also seized more than 5,000 bags of artificial rice, also known as counterfeit rice, from a shipment from India in November.