A well-known TV host learns the rice industry takes social media comments very seriously. He now faces a defamation suit for Facebook claims that some local rice is contaminated.
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TV host Suttipong Thamawuti pauses during his press conference to explain his Facebook comments on what he alleged to be unsafe local rice. Photos by Pattanapong Hirunard.
TV host hit with defamation suit over rice chemical claims
The Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group has filed a defamation case against a popular television show host who posted a message on his Facebook page naming rice mills that allegedly used a chemical to fumigate rice, resulting in contamination.
The Charoen Pokphand Group's complaint is that TV host Suttipong Thamawuti refused to respond when they tried to explain and demonstrate the actual process of storing and packing rice.
Sumeth Laomoraphorn, chief executive officer of International Trading Business at CP Group, said on Thursday that Suttipong Thamawuti, founder of TV Burapha and producer of the Khon-Kon-Khon (Man Discovers Man) programme, had damaged the rice industry's reputation by commenting on the use of chemical fumigation for rice packaged under the Royal Umbrella brand.
After the fumigation issue was made public by Mr Suttipong, the company released a statement explaining the rice production process and contacted him to invite him to see the process for himself.
After receiving no response from Mr Suttipong, Mr Sumeth said the company decided to take action to rectify damage caused to the image of the Thai rice industry.
The complaint was filed at Huay Kwang police station on Wednesday evening.
Mr Sumeth said the incident had not yet affected the company's sales, but warned that there could be an impact if negative information continued to spread. He called on the public to check their facts before sharing such information via social media.
Mr Suttipong argued that he posted about the alleged contamination of some rice brands with good intentions, because he is concerned about the health of consumers.
While he was composing the post on his iPhone, he accidentally hit the send button, despite the post being incomplete. He immediately deleted the post but it had already been shared by many people, he said.
He insisted that his comments had nothing to do with politics or the intention to discredit any brand of rice.
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongpaisan on Thursday denied rumours regarding toxic chemical residues being found in rice held in the government's rice pledging scheme.
He called on anyone with concrete proof of the claim to present evidence to the authorities so wrongdoers could be prosecuted, should the rumours prove to be true.
"The rumours are merely a ploy to discredit the government. The move did nothing but damage to the country and its rice trading reputation," Mr Niwatthamrong said.
Learn from listening
Click "play" to listen to CP hits back at TV host's unsafe rice claims and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.
allege: to say that something is true or that someone has done something wrong, even though this has not been proved - กล่าวหา
authorities: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
chief executive officer (CEO): the person with the highest rank in a company or an organisation - ผู้บริหารสูงสุด, ซีอีโอ (ประธานบริหาร)
claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
commerce minister: the minister in charge of the Commerce Ministry - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงพาณิชย์
complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การร้องเรียน
compose: to produce music, poetry or formal writing - แต่งขึ้น
concrete: based on facts, not on ideas or guesses - ที่เป็นรูปธรรม, ที่ทำให้เป็นจริงได้
contamination: the process of making something dirty, polluted, or poisonous by adding a chemical, waste, or infection - การปนเปื้อน
defamation: the offence of writing or saying something bad about someone that is not true and makes people have a bad opinion of them - การใส่ร้าย
delete: to remove something that has been written or printed, or that has been stored on a computer - ลบออก, เอาออก, ตัดออก
demonstrate: to show something and explain how it works - สาธิต
deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ
deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
discredit: to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person - ทำให้สูญเสียความเชื่อถือ,ทำให้เสื่อมเสียชื่อเสียง
evidence: facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true - หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง
file suit: to sue ; to take legal action against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you - ฟ้องร้อง
founder: a person who establishes an institution, business, or organisation - ผู้ก่อตั้ง
fumigate: to use special chemicals, smoke or gas to destroy the harmful insects or bacteria in a place - อบควัน, รมควัน
host: a person who introduces guests and performers, especially on television or radio - พิธีกร, ผู้จัดรายการ
image: an opinion that people have about someone or something - ภาพลักษณ์
immediately: happening right after something else with no delay; right away - ทันที
impact: an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
intentions: plans in you mind about what you are going to do - ความตั้งใจ เจตนา
invite: to ask somebody formally to go somewhere or do something - เชิญ
issue: matter; a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น
local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
merely: only; used for emphasising that something is small or unimportant - เพียงเท่านั้น
negative: bad - ที่เป็นด้านลบ
pack: to put things into a container - บรรจุ, ใส่หีบห่อ, เก็บของใส่กระเป๋า
pause: to stop talking or stop what you are doing for a short time - หยุดระหว่างพูด, หยุดชั่วขณะ
ploy: something that is done or said in order to get an advantage, often dishonestly - วิธีการ,แผน
press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
producer: a person who makes the practical and financial arrangements needed to make a film, play, television or radio programme - ผู้อำนวยการสร้างภาพยนต์, ผู้ผลิต
proof: information, documents, etc. that show that something is true - การพิสูจน์
prosecute: to officially accuse someone of a crime and to try to prove them guilty in a court of law - ดำเนินคดี ฟ้องร้อง ซักฟอก
prove to be: to be shown to be - ปรากฏว่า, แสดงว่า
rectify: to put right something that is wrong - ทำให้ถูกต้อง
refuse: to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
release: to allow something to be shown or known to the public or to be available for use - เปิดเผย, ปล่อยข่าว
reputation: the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is - ชื่อเสียง
residue: a small amount of something that remains at the end of a process - ส่วนที่เหลือ, เศษตกค้าง
rice pledging scheme: a government programme in which a fixed price, in this case well above the market price, is offered to rice farmers for their harvested rice - การจำนำข้าว
rumour: a piece of information, or a story, that people talk about, but that may not be true - ข่าวลือ
social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
spread: to gradually affect or cover a larger area - แพร่กระจาย
store: to put and keep things in a special place for use in the future - เก็บ
to make public: to make information about something generally available - เปิดเผย, เผยแพร่
toxic: poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment - เป็นพิษ
via: through - ผ่าน (ช่องทาง)
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