Panaji, Amid reports of the use of formaldehyde to preserve fish imported into Goa from other states, Health Minister Vishwaji Rane in a written reply tabled in the state Assembly has reiterated that the fish being sold in the state’s markets is safe for human consumption.
Rane also said that 523 vehicles ferrying fish into Goa, from states including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Karnataka, were checked since June 1, for the presence of formalin content.
“From July 2018 till date, 6,003 samples of fish have been analysed, out of which 118 have been checked by the FSSAI approved National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories accredited laboratories. No adverse findings were reported,” he said in his written reply on Friday.
The controversy involving the use of formalin — a carcinogenic chemical used to preserve cadavers in morgues — in fish erupted in July 2018, after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) team found traces of formalin in fish being sold in a south Goa fish market during a raid.
The state government had said that steps would be taken to check fish which was imported into the state from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, but the Opposition now claims that very little has actually been done.
On June 17, former Chief Minister and lone Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao urged Goans not to eat fish imported from other states, claiming that it was laced with formalin.