TAGBILARAN CITY – The National Food Authority office has issued a clarification over the alleged “fake” or “synthetic” rice from China that is being feasted in the national media and now the subject of full-blown investigation by the House of Representatives.
NFA Bohol manager Peng Evasco categorically said in interview yesterday at her office that the report of “synthetic” rice is untrue. This she issued to allay fears of the consumers who are rice-eating Boholanos.
She said that eating rice, the staple food of most Boholanos, is still safe and beneficial to health. The report of “fake” rice allegedly smuggled into the country has somehow stirred and worried consumers, who are already hesitant to eat marine produce, including fish, following the advisory from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) preventing the gathering, transporting, selling an eating shellfish that victimized some 25 people, three of whom are positive of red tide poisoning.
Evasco said that they found during the managers meeting in Cagayan de Oro recently that the report over the “fake” rice is not true but somehow it was allegedly contaminated.
She said they were told that based on the investigation of the agency there was this leftover cooked rice in a restaurant (which was not identified) that was refrigerated. And it was given to another person who was not named but who may have left it for long without putting it in fridge and could have been contaminated.
Report reaching Bohol News Today that “tests are required before the Food Development Center (FDC) of the National Food Authority can say categorically that suspect rice being sold in Davao City is synthetic-that is, fake rice.”
The report said that FDC, which took samples from Davao City “was found to be contaminated with dibutyl phthalate or DBP, a raw material for making flexible plastic products. But the sample was too small for the NFA to reach a definite conclusion.”
It added, “More tests are needed, with bigger samples (more than a kilo of rice grains per sample), before any scientifically valid conclusion can be reached.” (rvo)