PANAJI: The Goa government has announced a ban on import of fish into the state for six months.
The move comes against the backdrop of a scare in the coastal state that formalin, a potential cancer-causing chemical, was being used to preserved fish.
Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane announced the ban Saturday and added that its duration could be extended by another six months, if needed, till measures to check the quality of fish are in place in the state.
“Till such measures are in place (to test fish), the import of fish into Goa is banned for six months with immediate effect,” Rane told reporters.
The state government is banning fish imports for the second time this year, the earlier one, for fifteen days, having been announced by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in July.
The ban at the time was lifted after the government introduced border checks for trucks bringing fish into Goa.
Rane told reporters that the state government would set up testing laboratories with Central agencies like Quality Council of India, Export Inspection Council and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
He accused fish-importing traders of failing to comply with guidelines laid down by Goa Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
The Goa unit of Shiv Sena, meanwhile, said the state government was not providing people with clarity on the issue of formalin in fish.
“Health Minister Vishwajit Rane should provide a permanent solution to this problem. He should clarify whether formalin had been found in fish during checks by the FDA. He should give clarity on why fish import has been banned,” said Goa Sena spokesperson Rakhi Prabhudessai Naik.
Source: Press Trust of India