(Yicai Global) Dec. 30 -- Nigeria's food and drug regulator said media reports about 'plastic rice' were inaccurate after no man-made materials were found in bags of rice seized by customs a week ago.
The UK's BBC published reports on 'plastic rice' imported into the African nation between Dec. 21 and 23. Authorities had "confiscated 2.5 tonnes of 'plastic rice' smuggled into the country by unscrupulous businessmen," the BBC said. "It is not clear where the seized sacks came from but rice made from plastic pellets was found in China last year."
Some Nigerian media outlets followed suit and published reports entitled 'Stop Chinese Poisoned Rice from Flooding Nigerian Market' and 'How to Spot Plastic Rice,' provoking concern and heated debate across the country. Health Minister Isaac Adewole intervened to state publicly that there was no evidence the rice was plastic and the public should not panic.
The rice did not have a batch number issued by the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the producer, nor a best before date or other information, NAFDAC Deputy Director Yetunde Oni said at a press conference today. Lab tests revealed that it does not contain any plastic. Still, the rice is not suitable for human consumption because of excessive levels of escherichia coli and customs have been advised to destroy it.