The real situation of the arsenic conspiracy staged by the rice flour mafia has been uncovered.
Rice flour is not a hereditary food for Sri Lanka. The Portuguese who invaded the country introduced bread produced with wheat flour not because they loved the country or to improve the nutritional standards of the people. A majority which bade farewell to consuming rice and getting used to bread shortened their lives by contracting many diseases. Bread became a popular food in the country with the introduction of the open economy in 1977. Thereafter wheat flour imports maintained a higher level.
It was only the present Government which rose up against the wheat flour mafia which had a severe impact on the health of the people as well as the local economy. Annual wheat flour imports which stood at over 120,000 metric tons declined to 50,000 metric tons in July last year indicating the success of the indigenous food policy of the Government. A stable level was maintained up to last May. It is a significant victory achieved by the people as well as the agricultural sector. However the rice flour mafia unveiled a new conspiracy against the people who became used to consuming rice instead of bread.
Rumors were spread that rice was contaminated with arsenic. This was done by politicians who tried to derive narrow political gains with the support of mass media against the people. As a result the import of wheat flour soared to 110,000 metric tons. The arsenic fallacy has had a negative impact on the international market for local rice. The Government headed by the President frequently appraised the people about the real nature of the arsenic conspiracy. Various research and tests have confirmed that rice is not contaminated with arsenic. Despite these confirmations it is opportune for the people consuming rice to meet the aspirations of multi national companies depending on the sale of wheat flour to consider in depth.