For the past decade or so, China’s name has been dragged across international media, whenever a counterfeit items‘existence is proven. The country has had notorious reputation for counterfeiting everything from iPhone to clothes to foods. However, the recent discoveries of counterfeit products make us utter the word ‘impossible’. But, it looks like the counterfeiters have conquered the impossible by conjuring up ‘fake grains’ or what’s generally known across social media as ‘plastic rice’.
The fake rice is said to be originated from Taiyuan of Shaanxi Province, where a type of synthetic resin is commonly found. The fake or plastic rice are made by mixing potatoes or sweet potatoes with these industrial synthetic resins and later molded into the shape of real rice. The resins give the texture of rice. Health experts have pressed the panic button stating that this plastic rice, if consumed, would cause enormous harms to our digestive system. There are also various unproven information about the fake rice: One statement reports that eating three bowls of this fake rice is equivalent to consuming one plastic bag; other publications report that a bowl of soup cooked with plastic rice will form plastic rice over the top, which burns when heated.
Social media set off the alarm bells, when reports surfaced that the plastic rice have made its way to countries with burgeoning rural populations like India, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. Although Health officials and Ministry of Agriculture in these countries have deemed such reports as rumors, the fear about plastic rice still prevails. One such info even declared that the fake rice was found to be selling in India’s southern states like Kerala. The plastic rice, which has been alleged to come into existence since 2011, is said to be often mixed with normal rice that makes rice packages undetectable. Experts & government officials have agreed that there is no system in place to check the imports of counterfeit rice.
Sufficient rice supply has been a vast problem in the aforementioned Asian countries, but these countries are now on the lookout because they can definitely afford a debacle involving the invasion of fake rice, which would silently annihilate lives. There have been other scandals regarding counterfeit foods in China in the past or present like ‘chemical tofu’, ‘rat mutton’, addition of melamine in baby milk, rotten rice noodles, etc. The term ‘food safety’ is often used to raise concerns about weather-related natural threats that might affect food production or distribution. But, nowadays it seems that the same term has to reassure people that their food is not tampered intentionally.