Test refutes plastic rice claims in Ho Chi Minh City

By Trung Hieu, Thanh Nien News

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The rice grains in question that stick together after being fried. Photo: Trung Hieu The rice grains in question that stick together after being fried. Photo: Trung Hieu


A quality control center in Ho Chi Minh City said its tests on various samples have disproved allegations that plastic rice is being sold in the city. 
The Quality Assurance and Testing Center (Quatest 3) said it could not find any traces of plastic in different samples of uncooked and cooked rice. 
Earlier, Ngo Hoang Phuong Dong demanded a quality test, claiming that a batch of 20 kilograms of rice she had bought recently at a store in Phu Nhuan District might have been mixed with fake, plastic grains.
After being steamed, many grains appeared to be uncooked. Thinking that the cooker was broken, she bought a new one and once again could not cook the rice properly.
She then selected some of the uncooked grains and put them into a frying pan. After being fried for five minutes, the grains started to melt and burn like plastic.
She said plastic rice may have been mixed in the batch.
The rice store where Dong bought the dubious rice batch said it bought the rice from another seller in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang.
It said it had sold 700 kilograms of the rice to 30-40 customers but Dong is the only one that made the claim.
Pham Van Du, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the “fake rice” may be not plastic.
The unusual burning could have been a result of an excessive use of growth-boost chemicals by farmers or preservatives by traders during storage, he said.
In 2012, there were also rumors about fake rice but tests later dismissed the claims, he said.

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