You may have seen warnings of plastic rice from China floating around for a while.
Fortunately, these claims are not proven.
It all started in 2011 on social media where it was claimed plastic rice was being manufactured and sold from several factories in China. The first “reports” said the rice was made by mixing 1/3 sweet potatoes, 1/3 potatoes, and 1/3 plastic.
First off, let’s use a little logic. Don’t you think you’d taste something off if your rice didn’t actually contain rice? I mean, perhaps food scientists put in a highly identical flavoring in it, but c’mon, it’s not likely.
Worse, it was even claimed that the rice stayed hard after cooking. Excuse me, but..I THINK WE’D NOTICE THAT.
Again, Snopes had a few words to say about these rumors:
The earliest and primary versions of the plastic claim hinged on “reports,” alleged investigations, information that was scary “if true,” rice fabrication that “it [was] thought” occurred, and the sort of content which tends to make a “better safe than sorry” impression on readers without the need for any rigorous followup. Naturally, the plastic rice claims perpetually played well on social media pages devoted to food sanctimony with or without substantiation. When the claims were new in early 2011, they essentially represented a rumor which had filtered into non-English news sources from an unsubstantiated single report, with no clear evidence presented to suggest plastic rice was real or a known risk. An extant Wikipedia page (littered with clear signs of editorial neglect) lists plastic rice as an “imitation food,” but its citations are largely newer iterations of the old unproven rumor.
No need to worry my friends, you can continue getting your daily dose of plastic from Walmart bags. Carry on.