Formalin scare: Goa bans import of fish from other states
Fish forms an integral part of Goa’s cuisine. The state imports around 200 tonne of it from other states to meet local demand during the annual two-month monsoon fishing ban along India’s west coast from June 1 to July 31.india Updated: Jul 18, 2018 18:08 IST
The Goa government on Wednesday banned the import of fish from other states till August 3 as a cautionary measure following reports that fish consignments coming into the state had traces of formalin, a carcinogenic preservative.
Fish stocks normally arrive in the state early morning each day from states on the eastern coast, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
“This (decision) has been taken in the interest of the health of the citizens. To avoid controversies and confusion we have decided to stop the import of fish from other states for fifteen days that will continue up to third August,” chief minister Manohar Parrikar said.
Fish forms an integral part of Goa’s cuisine. The state imports around 200 tonne of it from other states to meet local demand during the annual two-month monsoon fishing ban along India’s west coast from June 1 to July 31.
Parrikar said trawlers would be allowed to venture into the sea from August 1, which would ensure that the state’s people are able to get fresh fish.
During the monsoon, residents of Goa have traditionally relied on preserved fish -- either salted or pickled.
Late last week, following suspicions of fish coming in from other states being laced with formalin, officials of the Food and Drugs Administration conducted tests at Goa’s Margao wholesale fish market. The spot tests revealed the presence of formalin, forcing officials to seal the entire consignment.
However, later that day, the FDA said that tests indicated that the presence of formalin was “within permissible limits”. The statement, however, was seen by many to be an outcome of the pressure put on the drug administration body by fish traders who stared at heavy losses.
Formalin laced fish has become a challenge across the country. Fish prices fell by 25% in Kasimedu, the biggest harbour in Chennai, after health authorities sounded a warning that the fish might be laced with formalin.
Last month, officials at Palakkad in Kerala seized 14,000 kg of formalin laced fish from eight trucks and sent them back to their originating place in Andhra Pradesh. The presence of fish in Kohima market also fell drastically after massive seizures of formalin-laced fish across Nagaland.
First Published: Jul 18, 2018 18:08 IST