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Manchester Health Department gets 'plastic rice' sample for testing

Published:Tuesday | December 13, 2016 | 5:43 PM

The Mandeville woman featured in a Television Jamaica report complaining about plastic rice has now made available to the Manchester Health Department samples of the uncooked and the cooked rice said to be contaminated.

The issue has been generating intense public discussions since Sunday when the story was first aired.

At a press conference today, the Industry and Commerce Minister Karl Samuda said the results of other rice samples taken from Manchester yesterday have shown no adverse trace.

Last night, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica said samples taken from Kingston had also returned negative for any contamination.

In the meantime, Samuda says rice imported from Suriname and Guyana will now be allowed to be cleared from the wharves.

Yesterday, the Jamaica Customs Agency temporarily banned the clearance of rice at all ports of entry following reports of so-called plastic rice on the market.

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has since been testing samples to ensure they are safe and Samuda says so far all samples have been found to be fit for consumption.

Samuda said in the interim, the authorities are allowing rice from Jamaica’s CARICOM partners, Suriname and Guyana.

The minister cited the historical integrity of rice supplied by CARICOM, as the reason for trusting imports from the region.