Panic in AP, Telangana over hazardous plastic rice

Panic in AP, Telangana over hazardous plastic rice

Grain is believed to be made in China, Vietnam

Panic in AP, Telangana over hazardous plastic rice

Several towns and cities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are gripped by fear that unsuspecting consumers are tricked into buying a plastic rice variety, which causes serious health hazards.

With social media spreading information that consuming this rice would result in stomach complications, the legal metrology department has begun seizing the grain from several locations.

The rice is believed to be made in China and Vietnam using plastic material.  The first case was reported from Saroornagar in Telangana, where a hotel reportedly served biryani made of plastic rice to a journalist.

Hotel owners thrashed the journalist when he tried to register a complaint that the biryani looked and smelt like plastic.

Taking action, police arrested the hotel owners and seized biryani samples for examination. “I collected the rice, made it into a ball and pitched it against the plate. It bounced,” the journalist said.

Apparently, the rice is deemed plastic if a ball of it bounces back when thrown in to the plate, instead of sticking to it.

Buying a 25-kg bag of rice costing Rs 1,100 for a mere Rs 900, Ashok, a resident of Hyderabad’s Meerpet locality, felt nauseous and slept for longer hours as if he was drugged after consuming it. “I learnt about the plastic rice from the news on TV and pitched a ball of that rice. It bounced back,” Ashok, who made a video of the process on his mobile phone, told  reporters and police.

Complaints have also emerged from hostels in Ameerpet and Hitech City that the rice served to the inmates is plastic. Polipudi Madhava Rao, who lives in Oguru village in Kandukuru in Andhra Pradesh, consumed the branded rice he bought at Rs 900 from the More stores in Kandukuru.

Rao also found the ball of rice bouncing when thrown to the ground. The local tahsildar seized 25 Gajanan brand rice bags from the stores and sent samples for testing.

Janavignana Vedika, an organisation working to create social awareness, has trashed the news as fear mongering.  “It would cost more to produce plastic rice than growing the real one,” its general secretary T Ramesh said.

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