News reports of ‘poisonous rice’ completely false and misleading – Actg. Registrar of Pesticides

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –The Acting Registrar of Pesticides, Mr. Lasantha Ratnaweera, says that the news published in two Sunday newspapers claiming that poisonous rice was imported to Sri Lanka, is completely false and baseless.

He said that no such research as claimed in the news article has been conducted by the Office of the Registrar of Pesticides since January this year.

Mr. Ratnaweera said that the relevant newspapers have prepared the news using a report related to a research conducted in 2017, but even so, the contents are also flawed. The Acting Registrar of Pesticides further stated that publication of such false news could lead to public unrest.

Therefore, he said it is prudent to verify such news from the relevant parties when reporting such sensitive matters.

Expressing his views in this regard, Mr. Ratnaweera further said that the results of a report mentioned in the article is that of research done in 2017 on 68 samples from the Kandy area. However, he pointed out that the research information has also been wrongly reported, as heavy metals usually exist in small quantities, they are measured in tenths of a thousandths. But these newspapers have reported that the amounts are in percentages, he said.

The Acting Registrar of Pesticides said that there is no way to find a method of measuring heavy metals in percentages anywhere in the world and it is not practical. He noted that the research report has been reported without proper study and this can lead to public unrest by highlighting wrong and false information.

He also said that if this does not apply to the rice tested from January 2022, there is no basis for such reporting.

Meanwhile the Secretary to the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security Mr. Sisira Kodikara said that measures will be taken to file a complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) regarding this incident and the newspaper report which contained wrong sources to mislead the public.

Source: PMD

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