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Government squashes plastic rice rumour

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
In the first four months of the year, Cambodia exported 2,772 tonnes of jasmine rice to Brunei. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian officials on Monday strongly denied rumours that the kingdom was exporting adulterated rice to Brunei and threated legal action against individuals who tarnished the reputation of the country.
“The Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Bandar Seri Begawan of Brunei Darussalam wishes to inform the public that Cambodian rice supplied and sold in Brunei Darussalam is safe for consumption,” stated a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
“Allegations that rice from Cambodia is mixed with plastic materials is simply not true,” added the press release.
The rumour was started by two foreign women in Brunei who claimed in a video that Cambodian rice sold in Brunei contained plastic particles.
“The one-minute-and-fourty-second video, which has gone viral on social media throughout the country, shows a woman commenting in a foreign language about rice sold in the nation being made from plastic”, quoted the Brunei-based Borneo Bulletin.
The ministry’s press release also stated that all delivery of rice to Brunei was subject to strict phytosanitary inspections by Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, which in turn issued a certificate of quality to the exporter.
“These are the terms and conditions stipulated in the contract with the government of Brunei Darussalam,” it added.
The press release warned that individuals who tarnished the credibility of the Cambodian government or its rice supplier will be subject to civil action.
Moul Sarith, secretary general of the Cambodia Rice Federation, said the rumors were meant to harm the reputation of the kingdom’s milled rice.
“How can we produce artificial milled rice when our production cost is higher than the market price. That just does not make sense,” he said.
“The rumours are unfounded as it is impossible to produce plastic that can be cooked.”
The press release stated that Cambodia produces the best quality jasmine rice and exported 4 million tonnes overseas.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia and the Royal Embassy of Cambodia would like to draw the public’s attention that for three years in a row Cambodian rice won the ‘World’s Best Rice Award’ in 2012, 2013 and 2014,” it added. According to the Ministry of Agriculture in the first four months of the year, Cambodia exported 2,772 tonnes of rice to Brunei.

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