Panaji: Allaying fears about fish that is imported in the state, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Monday night said proper tests are conducted on the fish to ensure that no chemical, including formalin, is used to preserve it. His statement came hours after NCP Goa MLA Churchill Alemao addressed a press conference in South Goa, urging people not to eat fish for next three months.
Alemao had claimed that formalin laced fish was being imported in the state which can cause disease like cancer. Rane said there was no need to panic as proper tests were conducted on the fish that is imported in the state to ensure that no chemical, including formalin, is used to preserve it. He issued a statement informing about the steps taken by the state government.
"With all seriousness, I would like to inform the people of Goa that the fish imported in the state is been thoroughly checked, not only by the state government but also via the central government agencies," he said. "Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and I are strictly monitoring and keeping vigil. As the health minister, I am accountable to the people of my state and ensure food safety. The fish that is being imported in the state is absolutely safe for consumption," Rane said.
The minister said that all the measures are put in place and every officer on duty is doing their job. "It is sad to see such politicians at a high position making irresponsible statements, I would also like to appeal to the members of media to keep a vigil on their own and if anything is going wrong to bring forward the same to the notice of the department," he said referring to Alemao's statemen.
"As committed, we are keeping strict watch and we will be continuously monitoring all fish that is being imported in the state," he added. Goa had banned import of fish during last monsoon fearing formalin being used to preserve the fish which is imported from other states like Tamil Nadu and Orissa. This year, state government has assigned the work of testing the fish to Quality Council of India, a central government body.