SHILLONG, Aug 10 - With the social media feeding the hungry mind with fake and real news, the Meghalaya Government was compelled to jump into the fray and adjudicate the authenticity of one such report.
Since the case involved public health, the Commissioner of Food Safety (CFS) stepped in. There were allegations from parts of the State that �plastic rice� was being sold in the market. CFS today assured the public that the rice in the State are real and contains �no extraneous matters.�
The matter was first reported by a local television channel that some samples of rice collected from a village near Umsning, Ri Bhoi District were in fact �plastic rice.�
Videos of plastic rice are found widely circulated on the social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook and others. Some of these videos show rice balls bouncing without breaking indicating plastic substances holding the balls togther.
Such reports first originated in China from 2010 in which it was reported that a premium variety of rice called Wuchang was being manufactured artificially using potatoes, plastic and artificial aroma.
Ever since videos are found of the bouncing rice balls being circulated around the globe with the warning that eating three bowls of such rice is equivalent to eating a plastic bag.
In this case here in Meghalaya, the Joint Commissioner of Food Safety, based on a complaint, not only collected the particular sample from the village, but also three other samples from the market in the State.
The samples were collected randomly from the market by the Food Safety Officers and were sent for analysis to the Food Analyst to the Government of Assam, Bamunimaidan, Guwahati.
�The analysis of all the four samples of rice is reported to be conforming to standards and no extraneous matters were found in the samples of rice,� officials here said.
The officials said that the public need not take these reports seriously and the rice in the State is safe for consumption. �The consumers in the State are requested not to panic on the rumours of alleged plastic rice,� the officials stated.