Plastic rice: No cause for alarm, says Health Minister

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has urged Nigerians to be calm, as there is no basis to substantiate claims of availability of plastic rice in the country.

Adewole said there was no cause for alarm as Nigerians embark on the festive holidays.

The minister, who was briefed by the Acting Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, revealed that preliminary findings by the agency failed to validate the claims.

Oni said, “Following the reports on the seizure of alleged plastic rice, NAFDAC team of inspectors led by the Director Ports Inspection Directorate and Director Laboratory Services visited the Customs & Excise Area Comptroller’s Office in Ikeja, Lagos and drew samples from the seized consignment for laboratory analysis.

“The products were in 25kg pack size with no NAFDAC number, batch details, manufacturing details or address of manufacturer and date markings.

“The following preliminary tests and results were found to be in conformity with the specification for rice:

“Floating – negative

Cooking – normal

Odour – normal

Colour- off-white rice grains

Moisture- 13.0

Pre-ashing – normal

The laboratory investigation continues, while NAFDAC, in collaboration with Customs, will intensify vigilance and surveillance activities at all entry ports and borders.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister urged members of the consuming public to always look out for the following information: Address of manufacturer, Production Date, Best Before Date, NAFDAC Registration Number and Batch Number for all regulated products.

Adewole called on Nigerians not to panic, as the relevant agency will keep them informed of any product injurious to their health.

He however encouraged all Nigerians to buy local Nigerian rice, which is cheaper and healthier than the foreign ones.

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