The Congress party has suggested that fish be transported as per the law and it should not be allowed till the systems are all in place
PANJIM: Raising concern over the health of fish consumers in view of the ongoing formalin scare, the Congress party has reeled off a list of suggestions which it claims will assist the government to tackle the situation.
In a representation made to Fisheries Minister Vinod Paliencar, Congress President Girish Chodankar said random tests at Margao fish market found that the fish indeed contained the dangerous chemical. As such, the party has come up with remedy to ensure the citizens get healthy fish.
“There have been a number of cases of fish/ crustaceans being laced with Toxic Chemicals being used on them for extending the shelf life of the fish and Crustaceans. We had invited a group of concerned citizens from the Margao Fish Market and carried out random testing of fish/ crustaceans and we found on majority of the fish/ crustaceans to be laced with high levels of Formaldehyde of a minimum of 4ppm concentration which is very toxic for human consumption,” the letter stated. The delegation led by Chodankar however could not meet the minister and as such, the representation was made to Fisheries Director Vinesh Arlenkar.
The Congress claimed to have used government approved kits - manufactured under the License usage rights of ICAR- CIFT in Cochin. These kits are also used by the FDA. “So without doubt and any negligence from our part we state with total conviction that the fish/Crustaceans is proved to be positive with toxic chemicals not meant for human consumption,” it said hinting that FDA’s claims that fish do not have the exceeding count of formalin is false.
Nevertheless, the party has suggested that government ensures that fish/crustaceans is transported in containers as prescribed under the laws in force; GPS monitoring of the Temperature of the Refer containers with data capture and storage is carried out on a daily basis; no transportation of any fish/crustaceans from and into Goa should be allowed till such time a mechanism has been put in place for the safety checks and permanent fish testing units/centres with experienced technicians/chemists should be used to monitor and test the fish/ crustaceans being sold at all the fish markets mainly at Margao, Panjim, Mapusa, Vasco, Ponda and others fish markets.
The party also suggested that proper kits be made available at all the fish testing units/ centres so that citizens too can conduct the tests. Moreover the traditional fishermen should be allowed to freely sell local fish/crustaceans without the interference of the ‘fish mafia.’