6 June 2024

The Thailand Consumer Council (TCC) has volunteered to check the quality of the decade-old rice, bought under the scandal ridden rice pledging scheme of the Yingluck Shinawatra government, to make sure that it is safe for consumption by humans and/or animals.

An urgent letter was sent by the TCC to Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, asking for samples of rice from all millers to be tested by qualified laboratories, after which the results will be made public.

TCC Secretary-General Saree Aongsomwang claimed that the council has experts in food, medicine and health products and, if necessary, a working group will be set up to handle this issue exclusively.

She urged the government to cancel its plan to export the old rice if the tests show that it is contaminated with toxins or carcinogens.

Last week, Phumtham, led a group reporters and commerce officials to a warehouse in Surin province to inspect the old rice. During the visit, they ate samples of the rice in storage which, according to Phumtham, was washed 15 times before being cooked.

He later declared that the rice is still edible and he plans to export it to “some African countries”.