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October 20, 2017

Plastic rice not on sale in Kenya, video on social media misleading - KEBS

"Kenya Bureau of Standards Managing director Charles Ongwae said plastic rice is not on sale in Kenya." /FILE
"Kenya Bureau of Standards Managing director Charles Ongwae said plastic rice is not on sale in Kenya." /FILE

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has denied claims plastic rice is being sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Managing director Charles Ongwae said plastic rice is not on sale in Kenya as purported in a video circulating on social media.

The video suggests most of the rice consumed in the country, especially the preferred brands, is fake.

But in a statement on Monday, the standards regulator said what the video shows is a common process conducted by plastic manufacturers.

"There is no basis for the allegations. KEBS has tested the rice in the clip and confirmed it is safe for consumption," he said.

He added all imports are tested in the country of origin before they are allowed into Kenya.

"We have requested the claimants to provide information on the source or location of those dealing or retailing plastic rice," he said, but noted they have not received any information so far.

Ongwae asked consumers to submit samples of rice they feel is substandard for testing at KEBS laboratories in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa.

Consumers were also asked to call 0800221350, send an email to [email protected] or go to their nearest office.

Social media users who have watched the video said they will not buy rice.

"Sasa hakuna unga na rice is plastic. Jameni,wwhat are we supposed to eat (There is no flour and now the rice is apparently plastic)," said Sandie Mulluka.

"Only God knows what we will eat," a Facebook user said.

But other users said the video was fake and that they will continue buying rice.

"[This] must have come from competitors. Can everyone embrace healthy competition?," said a user identified as Glow Ryah.

Read: 'Plastic rice' seized in Nigeria

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