David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Producer of Anambra rice and Managing Director of Stine Mills Limited, owner of Anambra Rice brand, Chief Akai Egwuonwu, has warned consumers to beware of the rice they patronise this festive period as fakers of his brand have sent products that are dangerous to health into the market.
He however said rumours that Anambra rice was dangerous to health was untrue as the products were of high quality and conformed with the standards of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Egwuonwu said Anambra Rice passed through best processing practices and was safe for consumption.
The chairman, who raised the alarm on the adulterated version of the product in the market, commended NAFDAC for their swift reaction by demanding that all local rice products in the markets be branded.
He said he petitioned NAFDAC about adulterated Anambra rice following complaints from customers who innocently bought and complained of unusual signs in the product.
Egwuonwu said he would not allow a product that had won him international awards on quality and marketing to be rubbished by unscrupulous business interests.
“The Anambra Rice brand is safe and of good quality as clearly certified by NAFDAC. The rice is stone-free, well-polished, doubled sorted, easy to cook and long grain.
“We are recipient of the Award of Best Rice Brand in Africa 2016, so people should ignore those making frivolous claims about the quality of our products,” he said.
He also corroborated the call by NAFDAC that government should suspend all illegal packaging of local rice products and that rice in the market should be properly branded.
The Coordinator of NAFDAC in Anambra State, Dr. Christiana Esenwa, had recently raised the alarm about the possible health concerns over illegal packaging of fake rice products in the state.
Esenwa said Anambra Rice packaged by Stine Mills is the only brand with market authorisation having subjected its operations to the quality regulations of NAFDAC.