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There is no plastic rice in Ghana – FDA reiterates

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in Kumasi says the public should disregard reports of the existence of plastic rice on the market in the Ashanti Region or anywhere else in the country.

Nora Narkie Teye-Larbie, a Principal Regulatory officer said the Authority is not disturbed with such rumours noting that so far there has been only one reported case in the Ashanti Region.

"We discounted that report because at the time, together with the police investigator we carried out several tests which proved that the plastic pellets will not have the characteristics of the rice whether cooked or uncooked," she said.

Police in Suame in Kumasi are investigating claims that a food vendor at the Suame Magazine has been selling plastic rice to her unsuspecting customers.

Akosua Amankwaa was picked up and later released by the police on Monday.

Artisans at Suame Magazine raised the alarm after buying from the popular vendor. They suspect the already cooked rice may be contaminated plastic components.

They claim the cooked rice ‘bounces’ when it is squeezed and thrown against a wall.

This comes less than four months after officials of the FDA dismissed reports that rice produced out of plastic material is in circulation.

Earlier this year, the Authority dismissed claims there is plastic rice in Ghana.

FDA boss Mimi Darko explained that “the physical and chemical properties of plastics are such that they cannot be reconstituted into edible food as plastics cannot absorb and do not mix with water.

According to her, the textual nature of rice varieties is due to their starch content.

She explained the different starch content gives the rice the bouncy characteristics. 

Meanwhile, the food vendor at the center of the controversy, Akosua Amankwa has expressed shock at their claim.

She said she has been serving her customers with the same rice for sometime now without any problem.

All the rice she cooked on Thursday finished earlier than she expected she told Joy News’ Ohemeng Tawiah.

Police have sent a sample of the rice to the FDA for a laboratory test and Ms Amankwa is positive she will be exonerated.

The FDA says it is yet to receive the samples from the police.

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