Ten-year-old rice auction resumes after safety tests

Picture courtesy of Thai PBS

Phumtham Wechayachai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, announced the continuation of the 10-year-old rice auction after private lab tests showed no contamination. The Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) has been instructed to expedite the process meticulously.

Phumtham yesterday shared that private tests conducted by a leading company found no carcinogens or residue from fumigation in the rice. This follows reports on Channel 3’s 3 Miti news program and a post by Sorrayuth, indicating the rice was safe.

The rice has also been sent to the Department of Medical Sciences for further quality checks, including fat content and other substances. Initial results appear promising, with a full report expected tomorrow.

Phumtham stressed the importance of thorough checks before proceeding with the auction. The PWO has already been tasked with ensuring the process is secure and efficient. Measures will be in place to prevent any delays or additional costs, such as ranking bidders one to five to avoid reopening bids if a top bidder defaults, Phumtham said.

“Everything indicates the rice is physically fine and safe for consumption even after 10 years.”

Phumtham emphasised the need for clarity and transparency to alleviate any doubts. The auction will include 150,000 sacks of rice, and bidders will also conduct their tests, ensuring no risks to public health.

“We are not prioritising our lives over those in Africa.”

Phumtham added, acknowledging that Africa remains a traditional market for this aged jasmine rice. He personally consumed the rice without issues but stressed the importance of public assurance, reported Sanook.

The goal is to maximise returns from government warehouse stocks rather than letting them deteriorate. Phumtham expressed a desire for the auction to proceed, noting it is a better alternative than previous auctions where spoiled rice sold for as low as 5 baht.

Thailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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