Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has debunked claims of the circulation of plastic rice in the country.
This comes after a video showing the supposed making process of inorganic rice went viral online raising concerns among citizens with many threatening to boycott the food.
However, KEBS Managing Director Charles Evans Ongwae, on Monday released a statement assuring Kenyans that there is no cause for alarm. He said the viral video only shows a process used by manufacturers to recycle plastic materials.
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His statement reads; “There is no basis for the said allegations. The video circulating on social media shows a common process often conducted by manufacturers when recycling plastic materials. Through it, used plastic products are recycled and converted into pellets, which can then be re-used to produce various plastic products.”
Ongwae said the food safety board reached the conclusion of the absence of fake rice in the country after several KEBS staff were deployed to randomly collect and test rice samples sold in the country and their results met the standards of Kenya and East Africa on rice.
“The KEBS market surveillance team has conducted several store visits and collected samples which have been tested per the East Africa and Kenya Standards on rice and all tests have confirmed that the rice currently in the country is fit for consumption,” he said.
Ongwae further assured the public that imported rice are being tested to ensure that they meet requirements before they are being shipped into the country. He said that rice that did not meet the standard were issued with a Non-conformity report and sent back to their country of origin.
“All Imports are tested in the country of origin under the pre-Export Verification of Conformity Programme. All products including rice are to be accompanied with Certificates of Conformity when they arrive in the country.
Products that do not meet these requirements are issued with non-conformity reports and are rejected and not allowed to be exported to Kenya.”
The MD said that the board had called on the public to report any information they have on the source of plastic rice production or sales but no one has since come forth.
“KEBS has requested those making the claims on plastic rice on social media and other media to provide information on the source or location of those dealing or retailing plastic rice. None has provided information so far,” he said.
However, he said members of the public are still free to do so. Any suspected rice sample is to be submitted for testing at KEBS laboratories in Nairobi, Kisimu or Mombasa.
Also, anyone with other info should call the toll-free number 0800221350.