News related to genetically modified foods, chemically ripened fruits, injected vegetables, pesticides containing drinks etc have been making rounds since many years now and the next to join this league is Plastic Rice or Artificial Rice.
Plastic rice as the term suggests is the rice made up of plastic containing chemicals like synthetic or semi-synthetic organics which are harmful in numerous ways. The concept of plastic rice first surfaced in China around seven years back. It was popularly known as the Wuchang Rice Scandal and was found to be made out of sweet potatoes and synthetic resin moulded into the shape of real rice.
There are no immediate side effects of plastic rice but if small quantities are consumed over a period of time it can affect the endocrine system, causing hormonal changes and also might lead to liver cancer.
After the rumours about plastic rice spread like wildfire and the consumers complained about its usage in biryani in Hyderabad, the Delhi government’s food safety department conducted random checks. They collected at least 27 samples raw samples from the markets and seven cooked rice samples from various hotels and restaurants across the city and none of them proved to be plastic rice.
All the samples were checked in the food laboratory of the department of food safety. All of them complied with the specification under regulation no 18.104.22.168 of the Food Products Standards and Food Additives Regulation Act 2011 which defines the standards of rice in India.
According to experts, it is very unlikely that plastic rice would be imported to India as it costs much more than normal paddy. Also, India produces enough paddies and does not need to import rice from China.
There is much hue and cry about the prevalence of plastic rice but the Delhi government has called them just fake and assured that the concept of plastic rice is extremely rare in India and has surfaced all news aside.