Panaji, June 9 (IANS) The Goa Congress on Sunday alleged that formalin-laced fish continued to be sold in the coastal state’s fish markets, accusing the BJP-led coalition government of not doing enough to rein in the use of the carcinogenic cadaver-preservative in fish sold in the state’s markets.
The revelation came nearly a year after the use of formaldehyde in fish brought into the state from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra during the monsoons, when fishing is banned in Goa, was exposed during a raid by the state government’s Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) team.
“We have examined mackerels, which are staple fish for thousands of Goans, from the Margao fish market and a laboratory test revealed 2 ppm (parts per million) of formalin in the fish, which means formalin-laced fish is still sold in Goa,” Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Girish Chodankar alleged.
“The government has failed to set up mechanisms to ensure sale of fish which is safe for human consumption,” he said.
The controversy involving the use of formalin in fish erupted in July last year after an FDA team found traces of formalin in fish being sold in a South Goa fish market during a raid.
The BJP-led coalition government had been on the backfoot for several months after some of its ministers were accused of allegedly protecting fish traders who were importing formalin-laced fish consignments into Goa from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
After the scandal, the state government banned the import of fish from neighbouring states, until fish traders registered with the state FDA and complied with its norms related to storage and transportation of fish. The ban had resulted in a considerable increase in the price of fish in Goa.
Fish is a staple diet consumed by a majority of the population of the coastal state, as well as the thousands of tourists who visit the Goa every year.