The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has dismissed claims of the existence of plastic rice in the country. KEBS Managing Director Evans Ongwae says their market surveillance team embarked on efforts to ascertain whether the claims were true, but after conducting several surveys and collecting samples, no plastic rice was found.
Ongwae said that tests as per the East Africa and Kenya Standards was conducted on all samples of rice in the country, affirming that rice currently in the Kenyan market was safe for human consumption.
“There is no basis for the said allegations. 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.” Ongwae said.
“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,” the Managing Director added.
Ongwae said a certificate of conformity given is a confirmation that all imports have been inspected against the relevant 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,” Mr Ongwae said.
KEBS response comes after concerns by members of the public over an online video that went viral on social media last week demonstrating inorganic rice product.
“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,” Ongwae said.