The headline is as scandalous as it gets: “China Makes Fake Rice From Plastic.” The news reports, like the one linked above from a site called Very Vietnam, alleges “that some distributors are selling fake rice in Taiyuan, Shaanxi Province, and this rice is a mixture of potatoes, sweet potatoes and plastic.”
It's scary and alarming, but so far, until verifiable proof is produced, it smells like an urban legend.
The story seems to have gained some traction, though. There have been a slew of reports from sites, all citing other news sources. The International Business Times wrote about it, citing the Korea Times, which in turn cited a Korean-language newsite called Weekly Hong Kong.
The sources seem to dry up from there. But if people are believing it, it's because it doesn't seem that far-fetched. After Chinese scandals involving cadmium-laced Shrek glasses at McDonald's, tainted milk, and contaminated pet food, this seems par for the course. Never mind that manufacturing such a product sounds like it would be more expensive than processing real rice.