MANILA The National Food Authority (NFA) on Thursday clarified it does not sell rice with bukbok or weevils.
The agency issued the clarification in view of reports that NFA's imported rice being sold in the markets is filled with "bukbok", causing panic among consumers.
The infested stocks are not yet NFA-owned. In fact, it was NFA technical personnel inspecting the imported rice deliveries that blocked the delivery of the infested stocks to the agency's designated warehouse in Legaspi City, NFA administrator Jason Aquino said in a news release.
The supplier will handle the cost of fumigation of the infested stocks. Afterwards, it will still be subject to standard inspection and evaluation by NFA's technical experts before these are finally accepted, based on the quality specifications stipulated in the contract. The infested portion of imported deliveries constitutes a mere 0.02 percent of the total volume of NFA imported rice.
As explained by experts on grain infestation, bukbok is a naturally-occurring pest in rice, corn and palay stocks. It is considered a cosmopolitan pest (present worldwide) and is transported across countries via trade. It is different from quarantine pests, which are dangerous to human health and blocked/banned by countries across the globe.
Bukbok in rice is safe. It is washed away and separated from the grains before cooking. Fumigation, on the other hand, is a natural process of arresting grain infestation. It is a standard protocol of good warehouse-keeping.
NFA also assures the public that it follows international standards in good warehouse-keeping. The agency certifies that only good quality stocks fit for human consumption will come out of its warehouses for sale in the markets to final consumers.
Gone are the days when people would automatically dismiss NFA rice as fit for the dogs or unfit for human consumption. Now, they are patiently lining up to buy even a limited volume to feed their families. They are the ones saying that the PHP27/kilogram NFA rice is better tasting than some commercial rice being sold at more than PHP40/kg, Aquino said. (NFA PR)
Source: Philippine News Agency