Rice hoax causes consternation

20 February 2020 | Local News

A social media hoax about imported rice purportedly infected with a rare virus has prompted the ministry of finance to initiate an investigation at all ports of entry.

The 'Dana rice contamination' hoax, which did the rounds in other African countries back in 2018, was apparently based on a real news report dating back to 2013, when Mexico stopped a single shipment of Pakistani rice infested with beetles.

After the hoax recently resurfaced in Namibia, the finance ministry released a statement saying there was no evidence to suggest that a shipment of contaminated rice from Pakistan had entered Namibia.

“The ministry took this text very seriously and launched an investigation into the matter. We wish to report that so far, we have not found any information regarding the arrival of the shipment in question in Namibia,” ministry spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu said.

According to him, verification was done at all entry points and involved stakeholders from the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency and the Namibia Ports Authority. Shidhudhu added that Namibia imports rice from Brazil, Russia, China and India.

People with information on any such consignment entering Namibia are encouraged to contact the customs and excise office at 061 2092047 or 061 2092636.

OGONE TLHAGE

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