The Ministry of Commerce and Industry informs the general public that some media institutions have reported the alleged sale of “plastic rice” within the commerce of Liberia. Since the revelation of this information on social media and other platforms, there have been attempts to provide clarity from various trading partners.
While the Ministry can neither confirm nor deny the existence of such rice on the continent or elsewhere, it wishes to assure the public of the Ministry’s determination to execute its statutory mandate of consumer protection. Let it be known, that Liberia imports most of its rice from India, Thailand and the United States of America. The Ministry has put in place additional measures to identify and detect any such threat to the public. All rice importers have been notified to adhere to the standards and quality for the importation of rice. As part of the process of acquiring rice approval, the National Standards Laboratory performs a periodic sampling and testing of rice to ensure that the quality requirement is met. Amidst allegation of the sale of plastic rice within the commerce, the National Standards Laboratory tested the Butter Brand White Rice on Tuesday, 4 July 2017. The test results show that the “sample tested was found to be an organic sample…has a characteristic of normal rice.” All commerce inspectors and LRA customs officers are duly informed to alert the authorities of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, as well as other relevant authority about sub-standard rice being imported by land, sea, or air. We will also appreciate any information regarding said rice on the Liberian market, which may have been smuggled. Let’s help to keep our citizens safe and healthy. According to the MoCI press release, the public can call the hotlines (Lonestar 9911; Orange 6624; and Novafone 991) to report any issues regarding Commerce.