DAVAO CITY -- Authorities in the grains sector appealed to the public that there is no cause for alarm on reports about fake rice.
Dianne Silva, regional manager of the National Food Authority said there is no need to panic since nothing is still conclusive on the laboratory checks on rice complained to be fake.
“So far only the rice complained about as fake showed a contaminant while other samples showed negative result,” she said.
Silva said a special investigation task force formed by the police to look into the problem failed to see questionable rice in the market.
She said even the Chinese rice retailers denied selling fake rice in the market citing that fake rice is more expensive to produce than the natural rice.
Silva said eight laboratory tests were performed by the Food Development Center of the NFA national office on two batches of suspected fake rice samples from the complainant.
“Since samples were cooked, there was no difference b letween the suspected fake rice and the NFA rice based on microscopic analysis. In terms of appearance, the fake rice is more chalky white while the NFA rice is creamy white. Both samples were positive for starch based on iodine test,” she said.
Silva said based on the test for contaminants, the NFA rice had none while the complained rice contained dibutel thalate, a chemical used for binding plastic packaging.
She said investigators are looking into the food handling which might have contaminated the rice complained as being fake.Pablo Gonzales Jr., president of the Grains Retailers Confederation in Davao Region urged rice retailers to report questionable rice to authorities.
He questioned the motive of spreading the rumor about the fake amid the abundance in the supply of rice in the region given its low price.
“I urge retailers to sell only your own stocks to the market,” Gonzales said.()
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