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Feb 22, 2016

Confiscated Rice Still in Lockdown

On the Phone: Jose Trejo

On Friday, we reported the confiscation of twenty-seven thousand, five hundred and seventy-one pounds of rice.  The bulk grain was removed from a business in Belize City when it was discovered that the producer was not in compliance with the existing labeling standard.  The rice which comes from Shipyard remains in detention tonight because the producer has to resubmit the labels for evaluation.  That process, according to Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, Jose Trejo, should be completed by the end of the week.  Late this evening, Trejo told News Five that the repackaging of the rice can only be done in the presence of Bureau of Standards personnel.

 

On the phone: Jose Trejo, Director, Belize Bureau of Standards

“Over the weekend we accompanied the shipment that we had detained earlier in the week and the staff went up to Shipyard to see the repackaging of twenty-seven thousand, five hundred pounds [of rice].  There is a development though in the sense that the tag that the producer produced to us for the repackaging of the rice still was not in compliance with what was required by the standard.  So really, in truth and in fact, it could not be reprocessed, it could not be repackaged so the producer has been informed that he cannot remove the rice from that location.  We have, as I have indicated before, the shipment still remains detained and he is to resubmit the tags for us to evaluate.  It is my understanding that we have received the tags already, we have evaluated it and have confirmed but this is just today, so they have confirmed that they do comply.  So the producers has been informed that he cannot repackage unless the bureau is physically there to witness the repackaging of all that rice.  So even though we’ve gotten a confirmation for him with respect to the tags he cannot repackage until we are physically there to witness it.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What is the timeline for that particular process?”

 

On the Phone: Jose Trejo

“Well it all depends on the availability of the producer.  The bureau will make its staff available once we have been signaled by them that they are ready to do it.  But in the meantime our detention remains enforced.  I would say we shouldn’t pass the week before that rice is repackaged.”

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