After formalin scare, Goa fish import ban lifted, but rules tightened, registration required by importers


The Goa government today came up with multiple measures to allay concerns over the quality of fish, a day before the scheduled lifting of the fish import ban which was imposed last month in the wake of formalin scare, says a PTI report.

Also Read: Parrikar going soft on formalin-fish issue to protect Minister, Save Govt

According to PTI, the departments of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), Police and Transport will check trucks carrying fish at the border areas at Polem in south Goa and Patradevi in north Goa.

Under-Secretary, Health (Goa) Maria Seomara deSouza today issued a circular listing out various regulations for fish importers.

Also Read: Big War of Words between Vishwajit Rane and Vijai Sardesai on formalin in fish

The state government had on July 18 banned the import of fish from outside Goa in the wake of reports of presence of formalin, a toxic chemical, in it.

Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane told reporters today that import of fish will resume in the coming days, reports PTI.

Also Read: Should we give FDA Padma Bhushan? Vijai Sardesai slams media & FDA, calls journos ‘prophets of doom’ who made FDA director a ‘heroine’

“To ensure the availability of safer fish to the consumers, the directorate of FDA in collaboration with the Goa police, Director of Transport and Director of Fisheries will conduct checks on incoming fish-laden trucks at the state borders,” the minister said.

Rane said the fish traders from Goa will have to comply with stringent rules.

Also Read: Rs 25 lakh ‘bribe’ paid by inter-state fish mafia to BJP-led Goa Govt to get a clean chit in formalin contamination controversy

“Fish traders have to ensure that they have obtained a licence or registration under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 from the FDA within 15 days from the date of issue of this circular,” he said.

Traders operating from outside Goa who are transporting fish to the coastal state, should avail the license from FDA departments in their respective states.

Also Read: Parrikar admits current Goa FDA setup unequipped, understaffed and incapable of properly detecting adulterants in food and fish across the State?

“The fish should be transported only through the insulated vehicles. After lifting of the ban (tomorrow), the vehicles brought in by traders without the licence will not be allowed to enter Goa,” Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said.

Also Read: FDA boss spoke to field agents on Ibrahim Maulana’s phone even as Fish Mafia, Minister made over 200 calls to Goa FDA officers

The Goa Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had last month confirmed the presence of the organic compound formalin in fish imported from other states. But surprisingly, after a Minister spoke to the FDA and made several calls to the CM, within hours further tests denied the present of Formalin and gave the imported consignments a clean chit.

Also Read: Fish mafia in Goa earns a ‘minimum profit’ of Rs 5-10 Cr a month or Rs 120 Cr annually, politicians, senior police officials, bureaucrats are either partners or get the best catch free?

The agency later said the level of the toxic chemical was “on par” with its naturally-occurring levels in the sampled fishes and there was no added amount of it.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had also tried to allay apprehensions over the issue.

Also Read: Parrikar manipulated FDA reports in connivance with Goa Forward Party to save fish mafia: Chodankar

However, the government decided to ban import of fish, after the issue was taken up aggressively by the Congress and other parties.



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