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NAFDAC dismisses existence of plastic rice in Nigeria

30 December 2016, 16:37

Abuja - Acting Director-General of National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, Yetunde Oni, has explained that no plastic rice was imported into the country, Punch reports.

She, however, said the 40 000 bags of rice seized by the Nigeria Customs Service were “contaminated with microorganisms above permissible limit.”

“Based on the above laboratory result, the product is not plastic but rice contaminated with micro-organisms above permissible limit, hence the seized rice consignment is unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption. The consignment upon handover by the Nigeria Customs Service shall be destroyed,” Oni emphasised.

While explaining the circumstances surrounding the alleged plastic rice, the NCS CG, represented by its Deputy Comptroller-General, Umar Ilya said the NCS only responded to a security alert issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser on the importation of plastic rice into the country.

On the bags of good rice seized from traders who illegally imported the staple food to Nigeria, Ilya explained that the NCS had after subjected the rice to test had given them to IDPs.

He said, “We have seized over 40,000 bags of rice so far since the ban on importation of rice through the land borders. Those are the bags of rice that are being shared to the IDPs camps. But that is after we have tested and certified them suitable for consumption.”

He urged warehouse owners across the country not to accept smuggled products into their facilities.

News24 previously reported that the Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja, of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 102 bags of plastic rice branded “Beat Tomato Rice’’ with no date of manufacture.

The Customs Area Controller of  F.O.U. Comptroller Mohammed Haruna, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.

He said that the commodity was stored for distribution as Yuletide gifts for the public.

- News 24

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