In Brief

Plastic 'rice' confiscated in Nigeria

Counterfeit food floods markets after price of a bag more than doubles in a year

Nigerian officials have seized more than 2.5 tons of plastic "rice" believed to have been smuggled into the country from China.

At least one suspect has been arrested in connection with the "haul of 102 bags", the contents of which are "dangerous for human consumption," reports The Guardian

The bags were marketed as "Best Tomato Rice" and had no date of manufacture.

According to Lagos customs chief Haruna Mamudu, it was likely to have been sold in markets during the run-up to Christmas and could have had severe health implications if it had been eaten.

"We have done a preliminary analysis of the plastic rice. After boiling, it was sticky and only God knows what would have happened if people consumed it," he said.

Prices for the popular Nigerian staple have gone through the roof because of galloping inflation. A 110lb bag now sells for around 20,000 naira (£51), more than double the price in December last year.

Local media has reported fake rice being found in several places since mid-November, with the Nigerian Bulletin posting advice on how to spot the counterfeit product.

"Get a lighter and burn a handful of rice. If it catches fire and smells like burnt plastic, you have fake rice," the paper says.

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