Speaking to media persons in Goa on Monday, RTI activist and independent politician from Vasco Kenneth Silveira alleged that formalin-coated fish was still being sold in markets in Goa, in spite of several attempts by the Goa FDA and the health department to scan and test fish being imported from outside the State.
Silveira, a resident of Vasco city, had contested against Parrikar in the by-poll held for the Panaji constituency last year.
According to Silveira, formalin-laced or formalin coated fish is still finding its way into the State and is still being sold at various places, particularly in the poorer areas. Silveira alleged that the FDA checks are not fool-proof and the fish mafia manages to bribe FDA officials. At times, the fish consignments are coated with formalin after they cross the Goa border to make it last longer and look fresh.
He squarely blamed both the concerned Ministers – health minister Vishwajit Rane and TCP and agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai as well as the ailing CM Manohar Parrikar for their failure to solve the formalin contamination issue.
Meanwhile, the Times of India reported that Advocate Rajeev Gomes filed a fresh application before the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) Margao seeking that it directs the Fatorda police to register an FIR against the alleged fish mafia involved in importing formalin-laced fish into the state.
On October 17, Gomes had withdrawn his earlier petition seeking liberty to file a fresh petition naming Iva Fernandes, the designated officer of the directorate of food and drugs administration.
In the fresh application submitted, Gomes has said that Iva Fernandes, who is the designated FDA officer for South Goa had submitted her investigation report dated August 16, to the FDA, clearly indicating that the fish examined during the raid showed the presence of formalin.