Jack Charles says local rice tested is harmful

Jack Charles was not able to get his imported Guyanese rice into the Belizean market for a cheaper price than the local rice producers. After making a public announcement of his intention to do so, the wheels were set in motion to stop him as concerns were raised over the negative effect the imported rice would have on local producers. The matter went to court and there were a lot of press releases from Jack Charles and the Local Rice Producers but in the end, Jack Charles was ordered to get rid of the rice that he had brought into the country and that was sitting at customs, confiscated. But, Jack Charles is not giving up so easily, and today, issued a press release revealing what he says are lab test results of the locally produced rice. Those test results allegedly indicate that the Belizean local rice contains biological contaminants which are harmful to human health. specifically, the aflatoxin levels. In October 2015 the Bureau of Standards gazetted the Standards (Declaration of Compulsory Standard) Order 2015.“6.1.1 of that order states that “Rice shall be free of microbiological contaminats and chemicals (i.e. Aflatoxin whichis created by improper storage causing growth of Aspergillus flavus.”According to Jack Charles’ release, and copies of reports he furnished the media with, the Aflatoxin levels of local rice are higher than the standards set by the Bureau of Standards. Charles says he forwarded those results on February 1, 2016 to the relevant Departments, namely Bureau of Standards and Public Health as well as to BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture. Charles says higher aflatoxin levels is a cancer causing agent and can affect the liver and other organs even leading to death n cases of higher aflotoxin levels.  Charles’ press statement says that  “The intention was not to create panic and to give the relevant Departments reasonable time for cross verification and do what was necessary to address or remove the health threats for the benefit of the wider Belizean populace.

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