Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongpaisan denied rumors on social media regarding toxic chemical residues found in rice under the rice pledging scheme. He asked anyone with proof to show it so that culprits can be prosecuted.

The statement is in response to online messages sent by a television host, Mr. Sutthipong Thammawut, who mentioned the existence of strong chemicals in the pledged rice and urged people to avoid its consumption. Mr. Niwatthamrong encouraged anyone with concrete proof of the claim to present evidence to the authorities for prosecution of the wrongdoers, should the rumors proved to be true.

However, he expressed his belief that the rumors hold no truths, and is merely a ploy to discredit the government. He criticized that the move was nothing but a damage to the country and its rice trading reputations.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chatchai Promlert, Director General of the Department of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, stated the department only found 30 rotten rice bags out of the 2,500 in the department's survival kits. He is confident that the cause of the rotten rice lays within the transportation methods, not because of chemical residues.

Nonetheless, all of the damaged rice bags have been replaced, Mr. Chatchai instructed officials to be on the lookout for any decayed products in the department's survival kits.

-NNT