Plastic rice scandal is a hoax, says KEBS

Plastic rice scandal is a hoax, says KEBS

A video circulating on social media implying that packets of rice imported into Kenya consist entirely of plastic is a hoax, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has affirmed.

“As the government agency whose mandate is to provide standards that meet Kenya’s economic, social and environmental needs and also the safety of consumers, we would like to state that…there is no basis for the said allegations,” the Bureau said in a statement issued earlier today.

According to KEBS officials, the video circulating on social media shows a common process often conducted by manufacturers when recycling plastic materials. Through it, used plastic products are recycled and converted into pellets, which can then be re-used to produce various plastic products.

The KEBS’ market surveillance team has conducted several store visits and collected samples which have been tested as per the East Africa and Kenya Standards (KS EAS 128) on rice and all tests have confirmed that the rice currently in the market is safe for consumption.

All imports are tested in the country of origin under the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) Programme. All imports including rice are to be accompanied with Certificates of Conformity (CoCs) when they arrive in the country.

A Certificate of Conformity is a confirmation that the imports have been inspected/tested against the relevant standards at source and found to meet the requirements of the respective product standards. Products that do not meet these requirements are issued with Non-Conformity Reports (NCR) and are rejected and not allowed to be exported to Kenya.

“KEBS has requested those making the claims on plastic rice on social media and other media to provide information on the source or location of those dealing or retailing plastic rice. None has provided any information so far,” said KEBS Managing Director Charles Ongwae.

“We call on consumers to submit samples of rice or any other product that they feel do not meet standards for testing at our laboratories in Nairobi, Kisumu or Mombasa,” Ongwae added.

 

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