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There is unwholesome rice on the market-FDB

By GNA
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There is unwholesome rice on the market-FDB
December 10, 2009
Accra, Dec. 10, GNA - The management of Food and Drugs Board (FDB) on Thursday warned the public about the importation of 6,000 bags of unwholesome rice by the management of Supermaritime Company based in Takoradi.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Dr. Stephen K. Opuni, Chief Executive of FDB, said the consignment was found to have been fumigated with high concentration of Aluminium Phosphide (a 57 per cent poisonous compound).

It explained that the consignment was fumigated because of heavy weevil infestation resulting in residual fumigant which posed serious public health and safety concerns therefore the rice had been quarantined in a warehouse at the Takoradi Port.

The statement said Aluminium Phosphide had both acute and chronic health hazards on the eyes, skin, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, poisoning of central nervous system, cyanosis, unconsciousness and death.

It said ingestion could be fatal while the dust from it could irritate and burn eyes.

According to the statement, mild exposure could cause malaise, ringing of ears, fatigue, nausea, pressure in the chest, while moderate poisoning causes weakness, vomiting, pain above the chest, diarrhoea and difficulty in breathing.

Severe poisoning may cause fluid in the lungs, dizziness, unconsciousness and death.

The statement said information gathered by the FDB indicated that the importer allegedly fed a cockerel with the fumigated rice resulting in the death of the bird within five minutes.

It said though further investigations indicated that the importer had already re-bagged over 2,000 bags, the FDB in collaboration with the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) at the Takoradi Port and the Western Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) had put measures in place to ensure that the said rice was not offered for sale.

However, the statement said the implicated rice under quarantine could be identified by some features.

The packaging is in a yellow polypropylene bags with green stripes at both edges and three black stars with a net weight of 50 kilogrammes (kg).

It has Pakistan Long Grain White Rice inscription but has no manufacturer's name and address, no expiry date and no batch or lot number.

The statement appealed to the public that "should anyone find the said rice on the market, he should inform the FDB or the police for immediate action".

GNA

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