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    » 02/11/2011, 00.00

    CHINA

    Plastic rice made in Taiyuan



    Various media accuse Chinese companies of making rice by mixing potatoes with a synthetic resin. This “rice” is cheap but highly profitable. However, the resin is hard to digest and is like eating plastic. Food safety scandals have rocked the country on several occasions.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China is accused of making rice with “plastic”.  The country has a long poor food safety record, including poisoning and death.

    The Weekly Hong Kong reported that fake rice was sold in the Chinese town of Taiyuan, in Shaanxi province, made by mixing potatoes, sweet potatoes and industrial synthetic resins.

    Although the rice reportedly stays hard even after cooking and is hard to digest, production costs are very low and profits very high. A Chinese Restaurant Association official said that eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag. An investigation is apparently underway into the affair.

    China has a very poor food safety record. The worst case involved milk baby formula made with melamine, a plastic compound bad for human health. Six infants died from drinking the milk, whilst more than 300,000 suffered kidney problems, some very severe.

    The scandal broke out in September 2008; however, the authorities had known about it for months but kept silent to avoid bad publicity that might affect the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    In July 2010, the Global Times reported that a company in Xi'an, Shaanxi, was involved in a simpler kind of fraud by adding flavouring to ordinary rice and selling it as the more expensive ‘Wuchang rice’ brand.

    Chinese authorities have repeatedly sentenced dishonest business people to long prison terms, but have proven unable to guarantee food safety.

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    See also

    16/02/2011 CHINA
    More than 10 per cent of Chinese rice tainted with cadmium
    An official study found the presence of toxic metals in samples, up to 60 per cent in some regions. Farmland and water are polluted and rice easily absorbs cadmium. Lead and other metals are present as well. Serious food safety problems are commonplace in the mainland.

    24/04/2008 ASIA
    Asian Development Bank: there is no food shortage
    The bank says that there is only a problem of "poor distribution" of supplies, and calls on governments to lift export bans. But the FAO is afraid of having to suspend aid for millions of people, without new funds. The situation in China, India, and Pakistan.

    24/10/2012 JAPAN
    Radiation too high in Fukushima rice, government cuts shipments
    Nishifukuro in the city of Sukagawa, rice contains 110 bequerels of radioactive cesium: the limit is 100 bequerel. Shipments reduced after checking the 12 million bags of rice in the prefecture. Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture: "There will be no impact on supply."

    18/09/2007 ASIA
    Questions raised over low cost flights after the Phuket air disaster
    Official death toll reaches 90. It will be weeks before black boxes reveal cause of accident. In Asia tens of new budget airlines compete for market share. Experts point out that rules and regulations are not lax, warning travellers they should do their homework before stepping on a plane.

    04/10/2008 CHINA
    Beijing, after milk, melamine in soy milk, too
    Recalls of Chinese products around the world are expanding. The Chinese government admits errors and lack of respect for the rules. The nation's dairy industry is at risk.



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