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Formalin in Fish: Goa Govt May Ban Import if 'Impurities are Found'

The FDA had raided wholesale fish markets in Margao in South Goa and Panaji in North Goa on Thursday and its "spot analysis" of the fish had shown the presence of formalin.

PTI

Updated:July 15, 2018, 8:33 AM IST
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Formalin in Fish: Goa Govt May Ban Import if 'Impurities are Found'
Image for representation. (Photo courtesy: AFP)

Panaji: Goa will not mind banning the import of fish if impurities are found in it, state Food and Drugs Administration Vishwajit Rane said on Saturday. He was speaking on the alleged U-turn of the FDA on the presence of formaldehyde or formalin in fish coming into Goa from other states.

The FDA had raided wholesale fish markets in Margao in South Goa and Panaji in North Goa on Thursday and its "spot analysis" of the fish had shown the presence of formalin. However, the FDA, on Friday, issued a statement which said that the formalin found in the sampled fish was "on par" with its "naturally occurring" levels and that there was no "added amount" of it.

The opposition parties had alleged that the FDA's about-turn on the formalin issue was due to political influence. Rane denied any pressure on the FDA and said that it was an institution of "high credibility".

"Rest assured if we have a situation where we need to take strict action, which includes banning the import of fish, we will take prompt action," the minister said in a press note released on Saturday.

Rane informed that the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology had provided a spot testing kit, called CIF test, to detect formaldehyde in fish.

“The test consists of strips which detect if the level of formaldehyde in the fish is more than 4 parts per million. If it is so, then a necessary action is taken," Rane said.

In a tweet, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that he was personally monitoring the issue of formalin in fish.

"Fish being stapled diet of Goans, I am personally monitoring the issue of Formalin in Fish and have directed Food and Drugs Administration to seize all trucks carrying such fish or any other food items including fruits and vegetables, and to punish and bring all such violators to face the law," the Goa CM tweeted.

State Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, addressing media in Margao, said that the FDA should conduct regular checks to ensure fish was free of chemicals.

He said that the import of fish should be banned if it was found to contain formalin.

"Not just fish, but all food items should be checked to ensure we give our people the best quality," he said.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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