A transport vessel loaded with rice being imported from Vietnam is not being allowed to dock in the United States, reports the Saigon GP Daily.
The GP Daily says fear of competition by the U.S. rice industry as well as concerns the rice may be contaminated with lead are behind the action.
The USA Rice Federation released a statement as early as May 3 expressing its concerns over a deal between the Vietnam Northern Food Corporation and the American Rice Company in Texas.
“Consumers rely on the high quality and safety of U.S. rice. U.S. laws and regulations are clear about the responsibilities of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. importers to protect domestic food safety. We expect no less than absolute compliance and urge continued vigilance on the part of FDA. For its part, USA Rice will continue to promote the “Grown in the USA” logo with all marketers of 100 percent U.S.-grown rice.”
According to the GP Daily, the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development says its recently increased its own quarantine measure and has ensured the U.S. that its rice is not contaminated with lead.
The Vietnam Northern Food Corporation has reportedly offered to divert the rice to another country to avoid what it considers an unnecessary dispute, but the American Rice Company is awaiting an analysis from the USA Rice Federation before making its decision.