Karnataka Health Minister Ramesh Kumar on Friday said the state administration will verify reports of “plastic” rice and sugar being supplied via the public distribution system by Monday. Kumar was replying to a query posed in the state Assembly by Bharatiya Janata Parly MLA Jagdish Shettar, who had expressed concern about the panic the reports were triggering.
Shettar demanded that samples of the suspected produce, sold under the Anna Bhagya scheme, should be tested. Kumar said that an initial consultation with scientists has ruled out the veracity of such reports. “Adulteration I can understand, but plastic we are hearing for the first time,” Kumar said. “It is also costly, so why will anyone do it.”
Kumar said that while he will not dismiss the reports as “gossip” immediately, the government will conduct a “thoroughly inquiry”. The Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader also refuted the reports while saying that the rice was procured directly from the Food Corporation of India.
Videos have been doing the rounds claiming polythene is being fed into a machine that produces plastic replicas of rice, and that this is being supplied to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, NDTV reported.