Plastic rice from China is slowly finding its way into the country, an agency set up to fight counterfeits told a Senate committee yesterday.
Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner for Intelligence and Strategic Operations Githii Mburu said there is a re-mergence of plastic rice in Nairobi’s hotels.
The senate committee for trade is set to place a ban on importation of food items following a report of re-emergence of plastic rice in Nairobi’s hotels.
The report of infiltrated plastic rice in the market was raised by KRA Commissioner for Intelligence and Strategic Operations Githii Mburu.
“We are still investigating and working with all the agencies involved to deal with the issue,” Mburu said during a presentation on the progress made by the multi-agency team to the senate in Nairobi.
Senate Trade and Industrialisation committee chairman Charles Kibiru said the committee will recommend for restriction on all imported food items including fish, rice and sugar.
The policy measure will be pushed by the ministry of trade and Multi Agency Anti-Illicit Outreach Team under the State Department of Trade with the cabinet office as co-ordinator.
It comprises Kenya Revenue Authority, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Kenya Bureau of Standards, public health department, National Intelligence Security, National Police Service, weights and measures unit and Immigration Directorate.
“The ban will block all food entering the country and only have importation when there is an emergency on food security or a deficit. This will also have to go through the Parliament,” Kibiru said.
The re-emergence of plastic rice in the market comes a year after Kebs denied similar claims saying surveillance done on the product in the markets established that it was safe for consumption.
Last month, police in Mombasa impounded one million bags of toxic rice and confiscated over 400 containers of substandard cooking oil.
“This is very unfortunate as the quantities of rice farmed locally are very high. The importation and distribution of rice does not only affect the local farmers but also put all consumers at risk,” Kibiru added.
Kebs acting managing director Bernard Nguyo said they will run tests with all the agencies involved and release the result in the next few weeks.
Porous borders has been cited as one of the major contributors the illegal entry of fast moving consumer goods like pharmaceutical products, milk, ethanol, raw tobacco and maize into the country.
Court orders release of imported rice https://t.co/Vi2B3jOC17
— Latest News KE! (@LatestNewsKe) September 19, 2018