Thailand: PM reaffirms Thai rice not contaminated


Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday reaffirmed that Thai rice is not contaminated, saying that she has ordered for the inspection of rice quality to ease public worries.

The Thai premier gave assurances on her weekly televised address today following reports that the rice was contaminated.

Ms Yingluck said Thai rice has not had such problems as reported in the news. If there was contamination, an investigation should be conducted to find out at what stage it is occurring during rice production, whether in milling, packaging, or transportation.

She said the public should not jump to conclusions that all Thai rice is contaminated, saying this perception will affect consumer confidence and Thai rice exports, as the image of Thai rice would be tarnished.

The government will inform the public over the investigation of alleged contaminated packed rice to ease public worries, said the premier, adding that the public health ministry has also been instructed to strictly inspect the quality of Thai rice.

Ms Yingluck, who visited the Ayutthaya rice factory of CP Group's International Trading Business Group which manufactures and distributes 'Royal Umbrella Rice', said that she has observed rice production processes here--from milling to storage to inspections to packaging to transporting--and can guarantee that Thai rice is safe and meets all safety and quality standard.

The premier however noted that all food-related factories need to carefully maintain high quality of food production.

The premier's remarks came as Thailand's leading rice packer 'Royal Umbrella Rice' earlier lodged a complaint against Bangkok television host Suttipong Thammawut for allegedly spreading false claims via social media that its rice was contaminated and was under standard.

The company said that the TV host's claims were untrue and caused both Thai and foreign consumers to lose confidence in the quality of Royal Umbrella brand rice.