Some weeks ago when the rice saga had begun with the Guyanese rice coming on the local market and the Belize Agricultural Health Authorityy, the media had been reporting on the matter with interviews from the importer, the local authorities and the attorney for the local rice producers. What we had not gotten was a direct comment from the rice producers. That is, until this evening when CIRCLE R issued a press release thanking the Belizean consumers and the Government of Belize for the confidence rendered in their grain product. That release reads, in part, quote, “ Circle R processes rice grown in Belize and supplies Belizean consumers with ‘RUBY RICE’, ‘JADE RICE’ AND ‘PREMIUM RICE FOR KIDS’ giving Belizean consumers a range of quality products to choose from. Circle R, doing business as Belize Food Supply, ensures all products are grown, processed, and packaged safely. A claim was recently released to media stating that local rice is contaminated with aflatoxins thereby posing a threat to human health. The claimant reportedly sent three samples of local rice to EUROFINS Lab in the USA to test for this mycotoxin. According to the lab results presented by the claimant, the grains contained “less than 2 micrograms per kilogram” of aflatoxins. If the samples of rice sent by the claimant were indeed samples of locally-produced rice, we are pleased to note that EUROFINS Lab has described the results of these tests on our Belizean produced rice as “excellent”. “ We appreciate the confidence that Belizean consumers have placed in Circle R to uphold high standards of quality and safety with our products. We assure all consumers that Circle R Products will remain faithful to our guiding philosophy.” End of quote.