The Cambodian Rice Federation held a press conference yesterday to allay fears drummed up by local media that fake rice is being distributed in the Kingdom.
Rumours began to surface this week when a reporter with local news site Khmerload published a story claiming to have eaten plastic rice.
The reporter, Tech Chyvorn, said he was approached by a broker who told him that plastic rice was being sold on the local market.
Chyvon took a sample of the allegedly fake produce from the dealer and, in the absence of any scientific means of testing the product, boiled the rice and shared it with family and friends.
“After [we] ate that rice, most of my colleagues and relatives believed that it was 95 per cent plastic,” he announced at yesterday’s conference.
Chyvorn said that he had initially doubted the broker’s story, but the suspect rice had kept for longer than standard grains.
After tasting the rice, the reporter said he had little doubt that it was unnatural and he was compelled to make the news public.
“When my colleague and I ate that rice, I have no power,” he said.
Seeking to quell the anxiety set off by the Khmerload article, the Cambodia Rice Federation had the sample tested by an independent laboratory and announced the results at yesterday’s conference.
“Today we brought the milled rice which is claimed to be plastic rice to test, and as a result it is not plastic rice as one local media has stated,” Sok Puthyvuth, president of Cambodia Rice Federation.
“It is just mixed rice; a combination of white rice, fragrant rice, new harvest rice and the old rice,” he said.
Puthyvuth said that the rice federation was applying strict standards along the rice supply chain and asked that media be careful when fact checking against allegations of rice contamination.
“It is our problem, we care about the rice branding,” he said.