THE Commerce Ministry acted swiftly to rebut social media stories about Thai rice being contaminated and Thai canned fruit infected with HIV with commercial attachés worldwide told to give the facts to all concerned, Thai News Agency said today (Jan. 9).
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said commercial attachés in all countries but particularly those based in nations where this false information is spreading have been told to give accurate and full explanation to businessmen, importers and consumers both via online and offline channels.
Meanwhile Siam Grains Company, a large exporter of jasmine rice to America, said that it had not taken any action on these social media stories because it is confident that its products are not contaminated as it has modern production and packaging technology which is able to filter out such material.
However this company did reveal that the importers of its products are discussing this issue and could make a legal move but initially they have liaised with the commercial attaché’s offices in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver
Also addressing this issue was Malee Choklumlerd. director general of Department of International Trade Promotion, who said that International Trade Promotion Office in Vancouver had already contacted and given an explanation to Western Rice Mills which is an importer of jasmine rice to further spread the word to its own clients.
The department’s offices will be quickly sending emails to other importers aside from itself disseminating the truth via social media to create understanding, build confidence and dispel concern especially among Asian clients who are the main target because they consume good-quality jasmine rice.
The department also debunked stories about Thai canned fruit being contaminated with HIV virus after liaising with the Health Ministry pointing out that such stories are false because the HIV virus is transmitted from person to person and is very fragile and once exposed to air dies within an extremely short time. It can be destroyed with 56 degrees Celsius heat and various sterilizing solutions.
Top: Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn refutes social media stories that Thai rice is contaminated and canned fruit are infected. Photo: Thai News Agency