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Impounded Rice is not Plastic, Only Contaminated – NAFDAC reveals

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had on Thursday disclosed the laboratory result of the alleged fake rice showed that the product was not plastic but rice contaminated with microorganisms.

Yetunde Oni, the Acting Director General, NAFDAC, stated this at a news conference held in conjuction with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Abuja.

Oni said the seized rice was unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption, adding that the consignment would be destroyed upon handover by the NCS.

She said that the product branded “Best Tomato”, was packaged in 25kg bag, without NAFDAC number, batch number, date markings and details of the manufacturer.

She also disclosed that ‘floating’ was negative, sedimentation was positive, cooking was normal, odour was normal, colour was off-white and E-coli was within specification.

Oni stated that lead and cadmium were not discovered, pre-ashing was normal, ash, moisture and mould were within specification but coli form was above maximum limits.

Oni called on the general public to report distrustful cases about all NAFDAC regulated products to any of the offices across the nation for prompt regulatory action.

She also said that the following numbers could be contacted for enquiries: 08013630600, 09094262773 and 08033112282.

Speaking on the findings of NAFDAC, the Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali, said irrespective of the outcome of the laboratory analysis, customs would remain vigilant and alive to its responsibilities.

Representing Ali, the Deputy Comptroller-General, Tariff and Trade, Umar Iya, said NCS was guided by intelligence reports.

“Intelligence reports indicate that several metric tonnes of expired and dangerous rice are still lying in wait in warehouses in neighbouring countries and the target of the products is the Nigerian market,” he said.

Ali said that the NCS would deepen patrols to make sure that such economic saboteurs do not succeed.

He urged warehouse owners and transporters across the country to stop accepting such smuggled products in their facilities or vehicles respectively.

He warned that both the smuggled products and means of conveyance were liable to seizure.

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