The Ministry of Health is denying that plastic cabbage is being sold in supermarkets here.
Concerns have been raised about the possibility of fake cabbage being sold for human consumption after a video which went viral, showing two males apparently attempting unsuccessfully to burn cabbage.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Anton Best said the matter was investigated and the produce was found to be real.
“A team from the ministry of health and Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) went to two supermarkets to inspect the products that are being questioned. Our initial assessment is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the cabbage and perhaps it’s a high water content that is preventing the cabbage from burning,” Dr Best said.
He added that there was no need for further investigation and the Ministry of Health was satisfied that it had systems in place to safeguard the public from the importation of fake food.
Additionally, Director of A1 Supermarkets Andrew Bynoe said the vegetables on supermarket shelves were unlikely to be plastic given the process involved in importing them.
He explained that “the imported cabbage came with the phytosanitary certificate which is certified by the US Department of Agriculture. When it gets to Barbados the certificate and produce are investigated by port health and plant quarantine”.
Bynoe said the products needed to get a clean bill of health from both departments before they were cleared.
Just last week, customs officials in Nigeria seized a consignment of rice, which it said was plastic.
The Nigerian customs service said that it had acted on “credible intelligence” that “large consignments of plasticized rice were . . . to be shipped from the Far East to Africa”.
Lab tests later showed that the product was “contaminated” with bacteria “above permissible limits” but not plastic, the National Agency For Food and Drugs said Friday.