Imported rice to be tested for heavy metals


Allegations that harmful chemicals are present in imported rice have prompted the Directorate of Environmental Health, Occupational Health and Food Safety of Health Ministry to carry out tests to determine whether there are heavy metals in imported rice.

Informed sources of the Environmental Health, Occupational Health and Food Safety (EHOH and FS), yesterday (19) said that the unit had initiated testing for heavy metals in all rice containers being imported to the country and hoped to issue a report as early as possible. The rice would be tested in laboratory facilities approved under the Food Act No 26 of 1980. 

Accordingly, testing would be carried out for heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. Agriculture crops had been tested on earlier occasions for harmful chemicals and heavy metals. Such issues related to imported rice have not come up in the past. Locally grown rice was tested for harmful metals last year when rice imports were reduced.     

By Dilanthi Jayamanne