Customs, Health Ministry Disagree Over ‘Plastic Rice’


The federal government has denied reports that ‘plastic rice’ was being sold in the country, days after the Nigerian Customs Service said it has confiscated 2.5 tonnes of suspected plastic rice.

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, in a message posted on his social media handle, said that tests conducted by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, found “no evidence” of plastic material.

Lagos State Comptroller of Customs, Haruna Mamudu, had on Wednesday said that the fake rice was intended to be sold during the festive season.

Mamudu had said the rice was very sticky after it was boiled and “only God knows what would have happened” if people ate it. He has however not commented yet on the health minister’s statement.

The Lagos customs chief had called on “economic saboteurs who see yuletide season as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal” business activity.

Journalists who felt the rice, said it looked real but had a faint chemical odour.

It is not clear where the 102 seized sacks of rice came from but rice made from plastic pellets was found in China last year.

The health minister said that NAFDAC would “release detailed findings to public as soon as it concludes investigations”, urging Nigerians to remain calm.

However, there are no evidence that the rice is on sale in markets. Customs officials were investigating but as of now have found nothing.

Nigeria’s custom officials say they seized a total of 102 bags, each containing 25 kilograms branded “Best Tomato Rice”.



    Customs officials said they cooked the rice and that the texture was very gummy and it smelled odd, they refused to eat it.

    When asked the same question on Twitter, the Health Minister joked: “no way, not without salt in it.”

    An unverified video of the rice being cooked has been shared on social media.

    In it the cook says the rice catches fire and sticks on the pan.

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