Goa government bans fish imports from other states amidst formalin fears

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New Delhi | Published: July 18, 2018 5:18:55 PM

The Goa government today banned imports of fish from other states till the end of this month.

oa, goa ban on fish, fish ban in goa, formalin Samples from 17 fish trucks from Odisha and southern states, were picked for tests in the laboratory. (Reuters)

The Goa government, after successive recoveries of consignments with formalin-laced fish, has today banned imports of fish from other states till the end of this month as a precautionary measure. After its latest move, the state may face the shortage of fish in next fortnight. Currently, there is also a ban on fishing activities along the sea coast. However, the mechanised trawlers have been exempted from the ban that comes into effect during the breeding season of fish.

In a statement, state chief minister Manohar Parrikar today said that in the interest of the people of Goa, he has issued the instruction to ban the import of fish in Goa for next fortnight. He further said that after the ban on fishing activities is lifted in August, there would not be any crisis of fresh fish in the state.

On Saturday, the chief minister had said that he was monitoring the issue of the presence of formalin in fish personally. Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration had raided wholesale fish markets in Margao and Panaji and reportedly found formalin in fish on spot analysis.

Formalin is a toxic chemical that is used to preserve bodies and prevent them from decaying in mortuaries. “Formalin is a dangerous and anti-decomposition agent. It is a colourless flammable chemical used in pressed wood products, fabrics, insulation materials,” Dr Kunal Das was earlier quoted as telling Indian Express.

Earlier, samples from 17 fish trucks from Odisha and southern states, were picked for tests in the laboratory. FDA had confirmed that they had raided on war footing.

The vendors had also made an appeal to state minister Vijay Sardesai who had tweeted: “Any knee-jerk action aimed at creating panic is uncalled for. Have spoken to Hon CM @manoharparrikar & concerned authorities expressing this view. Thankfully FDA has now confirmed that reports indicate fish showing no trace of formalin and hence #safe. #Goemkars may not worry !”

The FDA had tweeted confirming traces of the chemical. “The samples tested positive, showing presence of formaldehyde. Hence, as an abundant precaution, the fish vendors were instructed not to distribute the stock of fish until the detailed laboratory reports were available.”

“The results obtained for all the samples are found within permissible limits. The samples are thus declared to be safe for consumption. The whole process of sampling, as well as detailed analysis, was undertaken on top priority basis, keeping in mind the perishable nature of fish,” they had added as per Indian Express.

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