'Plastic rice' not on sale in Kenya — Kebs

Monday June 19 2017

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has denied the

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has denied the existence of plastic rice on the market. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By SAMWEL OWINO
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The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has denied the existence of "plastic rice" in the country.

In a statement to newsrooms, Kebs Managing Director Charles Ongwae said the agency sent its market surveillance team to conduct tests on rice sold in several stores.

He said the test results confirmed that the rice currently in the Kenyan market is safe for consumption.

PELLETS

“There is no basis for the said allegations. The video circulating on social media shows a common process often conducted by manufacturers when recycling plastic materials.

"Through it, used plastic products are recycled and converted into pellets, which can then be re-used to produce various plastic products.

“All imports are tested in the country of origin under the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity Programme. All imports including rice are to be accompanied with Certificates of Conformity when they arrive in the country,” he said.

Mr Ongwae said an issued certificate of conformity confirms that the imports have been inspected against the relevant standards at the source and found to meet the requirements of the respective product standards.

REJECTED

“Products that do not meet these requirements are issued with Non-Conformity Reports and are rejected and not allowed to be exported to Kenya,” Mr Ongwae said.

Kebs urged consumers to submit samples of rice or any other product that they feel do not meet standards for testing in its laboratories in Nairobi, Kisumu or Mombasa or immediately call the toll-free line 0800221350.

The response from Kebs comes amid concerns among members of the public sparked by an online video that showed the manufacture of plastic pellets that resemble rice.

The MD said no one had provided any information on the claims of the plastic rice

“Kebs has requested those making the claims on plastic rice on social media and other media to provide information on the source or location of those dealing or retailing plastic rice. None has provided any information so far,” Mr Ongwae said.