HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Health has advised the public that reports that rice made from plastic has reached Viet Nam remain unverified.
The news surfaced two days earlier when The Straits Times newspaper in Singapore reported that plastic rice, "made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, with synthetic resin moulded into the shape of real rice" has been delivered to several Asian countries, including India, Indonesia and Viet Nam.
The plastic rice was reported to have come from China.
The Food Safety Department under the Ministry of Health said that it has been co-operating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to verify the news. Anything unusual about rice sold in Vietnamese markets would be made public as soon as it was discovered, officials said.
The Department also asked residents to report to police or local authorities if they find suspicious looking rice.
Meanwhile, Malaysian and Singaporean authorities have been investigating the rumour, yet there has been no report confirming the existence of such plastic rice in those markets.
In 2011 and 2012, rumours about fake rice caused an uproar in Viet Nam, even though authorities confirmed that such rumours had been untrue.
No addictive substances to street food
Also yesterday, the Food Safety Department confirmed that no addictive substances were found in street food sold in Ha Noi.
The Department conducted an inspection into Hanoian street food following residents' reports that such food might contain addictive substances.
Test results on 15 samples of sausages, grilled pork skewers and fried nem chua (fermented pork) sold on the streets showed that none contained morphine or codeine, two major biological substances derived from poppy plants. — VNS