Fact or Myth: Is China Producing Plastic Rice?

This is FACT.

Wuchang rice is a popular rice celebrated for its fragrance and unique taste, and as such is double the price of more ordinary rice varieties. Chinese rice producers have caught on to its popularity and have in recent years come under fire for making “Wuchang” rice that is essentially “fake”—a mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a dangerous plastic compound called industrial synthetic resin. When mixed with a small amount of real Wuchang rice and sprayed with a fragrance that mimics that of the natural variety, Chinese food manufacturers are making a huge profit on fake (and hazardous) Wuchang rice.

The scam was first exposed nearly 5 years ago, when China began exporting Wuchang rice to other Asian countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. Countries have begun implementing protective measures. For instance, The National Food Authority of the Republic of the Philippines is examining reports of plastic rice and responding by using a spectroscopy devise to detect fake varieties.

The Health Danger of Plastic Rice 

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Underground Health Reporter has written many articles on the dangers of plastic food packaging, which contain chemicals that disrupt hormone function, namely bisphenol A and phthalates. So imagine how dangerous it is to actually eat the plastic in the form of rice! According to the Chinese Restaurant Association, eating three bowls of fake Wuchang rice is equivalent to eating an entire plastic bag. And consuming Wuchang rice regularly can have serious ramifications on your digestive health!

Although there have been no reports of fake Wuchang rice hitting grocery store shelves in the United States, it’s still good to exercise caution when purchasing foodstuffs imported from China. There have been numerous food scams out of China, such as the 2010 scandal when the Chinese company Shaanxico was discovered adding flavoring to ordinary rice and selling it as Wuchang rice. And in 2008, baby milk formula from China was laced with a plastic compound called melamine. Six babies died and 300,000 more were diagnosed with serious kidney complications.

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