Current Affairs

Goa government heightens measures to check import of fish

Departments of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), Police and Transport in an effort to calm the fears of the people of Goa over the quality of fish available in the state will check trucks carrying fish at the border areas at Polem in south Goa and Patradevi in north Goa in wake of the Formalin scare as the 15-day ban of import of fish comes to an end.

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

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. “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.”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.”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,” the minister said.

The Goa Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had last month confirmed the presence of the organic compound in fish imported from other states.

However, 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.

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

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief

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