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11 Jul 2020, Edition - 1824, Saturday

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‘Plastic rice, if proved to be true, can be fatal’


Tamilnadu is making balls of boiled rice and checking if it can bounce. Videos on ‘plastic rice’ have been going viral in social media and people have started checking the quality of rice they have been consuming.

“Social media has been sensationalising the entire issue. There has been no such incidents in Tamil Nadu. We haven’t started any research to examine or establish plastic rice yet,” said Dr. M Maheswaran, Director of Research, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University.

When we called the grievance redressal number which has been circulating in WhatsApp, Deputy Director of Health Service Dr. V. Manimaran said they have been receiving close to 20 calls everyday. “We have been receiving complaints about plastic rice for the last one week. We cannot say that they are complaints, most of them call up just to clear doubts. I explain to them the general methods to detect if the rice is plastic or not. Normal rice will not float on water. While normal rice will have fungal growth, plastic rice will not. We are examining the rice samples but we haven’t found any plastic rice so far,” he said.

So what will be the repercussions of plastic rice?

According to dietitian Dr. D.S. Pradheepa, plastic rice may cause intestinal blocks. “We know how dangerous plastic is. We advice people not to drink water from plastic containers. In the case of plastic rice, it probably will affect the gut function of the body. When food like noodles, which is made out of maida can cause intestinal obstruction, the level of danger we are dealing with plastic is, naturally, very high. Plastic rice, if proved to be true, will be fatal. But, I don’t think really Coimbatore has plastic rice,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Government has ordered probe not only on plastic rice, but also on plastic egg and plastic sugar.

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