The Goa government has banned the import of fish from neighbouring states till the end of July after formalin, a carcinogenic organic compound, was reportedly detected in the supplies of fish, IANS reported on Wednesday.
“A formal notification will be issued by evening,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters in Panaji. “The decision has been taken as a measure of abundant caution.”
The chief minister said the ban, imposed under the Food and Drugs Administration Act, would remove all fears of the presence of formalin in fish. “Local fish is available in enough quantity for consumption,” Parrikar said.
At present, there is a monsoon-related ban on fishing off the coast of Goa. Since the monsoon is the spawning season for fish, the ban – imposed very year – is meant to facilitate their breeding.
“The ban on fishing will be lifted on August 1,” said Parrikar. “There will be no issue after that.”
The chief minister’s statements came three days after he said at an event that fake news and rumours might prove to be damaging, PTI reported. The comments were made in connection with the formalin scare. “Mobile phones have made a deeper penetration...However, there are also some drawbacks like fake news,” Parrikar had said on Sunday. “People should realise that fake news does more harm or a rumour can do more harm.”
On July 12, the Odisha government ordered authorities to examine fish brought from Andhra Pradesh for the presence of formalin. The day before, the Assam government banned the sale of fish imported from Andhra Pradesh.
Formalin is a preservative derived from formaldehyde. It can cause nausea, coughing and a burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat in the short term, and is found to cause cancer if consumed over a long period of time. It is used chiefly as a preservative for biological specimens, for instance, in laboratories.