When Curtorim Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco on Tuesday walked into the Goa Assembly with three eggs in a packet (Read Here) and held it up on the House floor as evidence that “plastic eggs” were being sold in the market, he left many legislators shocked. Others were subtly amused.
As he demanded a thorough probe, CM Manohar Parrikar kept repeating, “there cannot be a plastic egg”. Parrikar quickly sent the eggs Lourenco had brought into the Assembly to the Goa FDA for testing which gave a negative report within hours.
For at least 3 weeks now, several videos have been doing the rounds on social media detailing the presence of ‘plastic eggs’ in Goan markets. But Goa CM Parrikar insisted on the floor of the house, that he being an engineer and science graduate could say for sure that there is nothing like a ‘plastic egg’. So Mr Parrikar, are all the videos on social media fake?
The appearance of artificial eggs or ‘plastic eggs’ in stores and supermarkets in different parts of Kerala, West Bengal and now Goa and Maharashtra since the last few years, has left residents infuriated.
Even as many markets in India face a backlash against Chinese goods after a viscous social media campaign, there’s another Chinese product that is making people fume. Eggs, claimed a two-year-old (October 13, 2016) article in India Today.
Consumers have reported that the shells of these ‘plastic eggs’ are hard to crack and an omelette made using these is hard and rubbery. These artificial eggs do not rot even after many days on the shelves, and have no smell, unlike ‘real eggs’, states the India Today report.
When the issue surfaced in Kerala two years ago, State Health Minister, K K Shylaja had said probe would be launched to find the truth about the mystery eggs. However, health officials did not stop the sale of the eggs in Kerala.
According to India Today, artificial eggs have become especially prevalent in Kerala, an Indian state located on the country’s southwest coast. The eggs have reportedly been popping up in big stores and even supermarkets, with some consumers mistakenly purchasing the fakes before complaining about the subtle differences: shells that are hard to crack and contents that become rubbery when cooked.
While this was reported two years ago, the same story keeps popping up time and again. Whenever there is a public outcry, the ‘plastic eggs’ disappear, only to resurface after a few months, after the media attention dies down.
One consumer bought eggs which he thought were normal, but was quoted as saying they were extremely hard to crack and that the contents turned rubbery on being put on the stove, according to a Gulf News report.
Distributors on the other hand say that the consignment has come from Tamil Nadu but the exact origin of the eggs is yet to be traced.
After the news hit the headlines, many people contacted television channels to give their own experiences, while others put up videos of the eggs being cooked, on social media.
Minister K K Shailaja had announced a probe into the situation in Kerala. “I will now ask the Food Safety Commissioner to seriously look into these media reports that such a product is available,” Sakshi Post had quoted Shylaja as saying.
“It would be nice if someone comes up and provides a sample of it so the tests can be conducted quickly.” We do not know if a probe was really conducted and if it was, then what were the results. The matter died a natural death.
According to an ANI report dated April 4th, 2017, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked whether there are any plastic eggs as such or is it a hoax. The subject cropped up after a man was arrested on April 1 for selling ‘artificial eggs’ containing plastic-like material from Kolkata’s Park Circus area.
On the basis of a complaint made by a consumer, Mohammed Shamim Ansari was arrested, after ‘plastic eggs’ were recovered from his possession.
However, in his defence Shamim claimed that the eggs were of duck and if kept in the refrigerator for a day and then consumed, they become like plastic.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) ordered an investigation into the same. It was found that a few fake ‘plastic eggs’ had permeated into the Kolkata markets.
In April last year, Bangalore Mirror also reported about the presence of ‘plastic eggs’, but no conclusive evidence was available.
Terming reports about “plastic” rice and “synthetic” eggs available in the market as “mere rumours,” Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader said no such case has been reported so far, says another article in the Bangalore Mirror dated June 12, 2017.
“People need not panic on hearing such baseless reports.. Some vested interests are spreading rumours apparently to defame the Anna Bhagya scheme, which was being successfully implemented,” Khader told reporters, but at the same time said he had ordered a probe into the matter.
with inputs from India Today, Bangalore Mirror, etc