Duterte to force rice importers to eat smuggled “plastic rice”
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has warned rice importers sneaking ‘plastic rice’ into his city. I will have you eat your rice, said Duterte in the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on Sunday, June 28. Said to be manufactured in China, the fake rice made from potatoes and laced with synthetic, poisonous resin reportedly had found its way to Asian countries including Vietnam where the Philippines buy rice when there is shortage of the commodity.
Health experts warned that fake rice could damage the digestive system.
Duterte gave the warning even as the Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Food Authority (NFA) allayed fears over the reported existence of “fake rice.”
The report on the fake rice had been spreading all over the internet.
The report said that China would be importing the fake rice to other countries with big population like Indonesia, India and Vietnam. There is fear that rice smugglers can bring in the plastic rice by mixing it with ordinary rice. DA and NFA said they are strictly monitoring rice imports.
In the program, Duterte said he has ordered police to monitor movement of rice stocks in the city to thwart hoarding by traders out to create an artificial shortage. DA and NFA said there could be a rice shortage after a dry spell hit the country the past few months and as the El Nino remains.