Lisa Hanna shares 'plastic' rice experience
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Although the panic surrounding the “plastic” rice phenomenon has died down somewhat, former minister of youth and culture and Member of Parliament for South East St Ann Lisa Hanna today took to social media with a 50-second video describing her recent experience with "plastic" rice.
In the video, posted to Instagram, Hanna stated that the rice was bought at a “well known bulk place that is more international than local”.
“…[I] had started cooking the rice yesterday. It cyaah cook, all we can do is roll it into a ball. We actually thought that the rice was burnt because we left it on the stove,” Hanna explained.
“We even added some coconut milk [to] it [but it] won’t shell. [However], you can roll it, you can bounce it, you can do a number of things with it,” Hanna added.
She described it as being “very, very big as a white grain rice”.
“It’s like candle wax. By the time we finished kneading it we can probably put a wick in there and light it!” Hanna exclaimed, adding that it is crazy.
“Anybody that tell you that it’s still not on the market, check me,” Hanna said.
She also stated that she has submitted samples of the rice for testing.
Reports of “plastic” rice being on the local market surfaced last month after a Television Jamaica newcast showed a woman cooking it. Immediately following the reports of the distribution of “plastic” rice, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) temporarily ceased the clearance of rice at all ports of entry in order to verify the breach and the mechanisms for moving forward.
The JCA had said that the source of the product could not be located nor could they say if the product had actually hit the shelves of wholesalers and supermarkets.
However, they said samples had been taken from the shelves of supermarkets in Manchester, the parish in which the fake rice was allegedly bought.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda later said samples of rice tested did not return any adverse findings.
At the same time, the minister said that it is very important that Jamaicans not be denied the staple food. As a result, clearance was allowed for rice imported from Guyana and Suriname.
Jamaica currently imports rice from Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Guyana, Suriname, Thailand, China, Vietnam, and India.
To date, there has been no confirmation from authorities that “plastic” rice is being sold locally.