BreakingNews 20/11/16 - Jos gripped by concerns over plastic rice from China

[ Masterweb Reports: Hir Joseph reports ] - Concerns grew at the weekend over reports alleging that China is shipping tones of what is suspected as “plastic rice” into the country, although there were hardly any news to substantiate that. 
 The Plateau State capital, Jos and environs was hit hard with the concerns by consumers of rice, who raised queries with dealers, demanding proof that they were being offered genuine rice for patronage at stores, Daily Trust can report. 
 The concerns slowed down sales of the commodity, dealers say. 
 “We just want to be sure we are not paying to carry plastic home to our families,” one customer at a store located at Bukuru, a major commercial location of Jos, told this reporter on inquiry. “We have read reports warning about this plastic rice in the market. One has to be careful.”
 The unsubstantiated reports were carried on online media platforms especially by bloggers who did not state the source of their information, as there were no efforts to get official reactions. The reports, which were widely shared on the social media within the last five days, also failed to state what locations of the country the plastic packaged as rice, were in circulation. 
 The reports warned consumers not to buy rice in the market without first conducting a series of tests to ascertain the genuiness of the commodity. 
 The   'news' went viral with residents of Jos and environs spiking concerns which dealers confirmed are slowing down sales. 
 The customer spoken to at Bukuru, who declined to allow for her identity to be published said she learnt of the alert from many neighbours and relatives, who informed her they had to carry out the tests to confirm the commodity before they bought. She said she had to search for the report herself, and to proceed to share same to alert unsuspecting consumers who may be risking to buy plastic for meal. 
 “I had to share the news too, to help others,” she said, although acknowledging that “I never read anything about the source of this information from all the reports I saw.”
 A major dealer of the commodity around the same location confirmed to this newspaper that he spent the last five days struggling to convince consumers to patronize him, disclosing however, that the concerns overwhelmed his explanations. 
 “I have old stock. I don’t know for sure if there is anything like plastic rice in circulation. I don’t have such in my store,” Balarabe Adam said, just as he insisted that dealers have no knowledge of this commodity. 
 He said sales have dropped with the spread of the 'news'. “Customers are not taking this news lightly. They are insisting on tests to ascertain the genuiness of the commodity before they will buy. We are allowing for that because we want to sell.”
*Photo Caption - As seen.

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