Thailand denies fake rice export to US following viral Facebook post

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The Thai government on Wednesday denied rice exported from Thailand contains plastic, following a Facebook post from the United States that went viral online claiming rice from Thailand is mixed with plastic.

A Facebook user by the name Felicity Prak posted two photos and one video in December showing the before-and-after effect of roasting rice from Thailand. The grains got burnt and stuck to the frying pan.

“We don’t usually use three lady brand. We got 2 50lb bag as a gift (from sisters). We open one bag to see if the rice is with mixed with plastic or not and this what we got [sic]. This is too crazy,” Prak wrote in her post, which has received more than 72,000 reactions from other Facebook users and was shared over 15,000 times.

Duangporn Rodphaya, Director General of Thailand’s Department of International Trade assured reporters on Wednesday that rice exports from Thailand were not fake.

“I confirm [Thai rice] and the Thai jasmine rice from this well-recognized brand [Three Ladies] is of premium quality,” Duangporn said.

“The person who made the video clip has an intention to harm Thailand’s image,” she added.

Many Facebook users from Thailand have left harsh comments – some abusive – on Prak’s Facebook profile, saying she cooked the rice wrong and that plastic actually costs more than rice.

Thailand is the world’s second-largest rice exporter after India. The country exported over 9 million tons of rice in 2016.

In recent years, fake rice from China made from potatoes, sweet potatoes and poisonous plastic was exposed, sparking concerns worldwidedpa