The Manipur government on Saturday banned the sale of iced-packed fish imported from other states after traces of formalin was found in the fishes. An order in this regard was issued by Nodal officer (Food Safety) Manipur, Ch. Sanajaoba Meitei.
Following the reports of seizure of huge quantity of fish products with traces of formalin from Nagaland and Kerala, the Manipur Fishery Department conducted an investigation to determine the possibility of the substance in fish products available in the state.
Formalin is a toxic chemical which is used to preserve bodies and prevent its decay in mortuaries. It is derived from formaldehyde, a potential cancer-inducing chemical.
Reportedly, fish samples were collected from different outlets across the state which were later found to have traces of formalin. “We have confirmed the presence of formalin in the samples of iced pack fish products imported from outside the state. As a result, the government has instructed to impose a ban not only on the sale of iced-packed fish products but also declared them unsafe for consumption,” said the nodal officer.
As per the state fishery department, Manipur consumes around 52,000 metric tonnes of fish a year. Of the total quantity, the state produces around 32,000 metric tonnes while the remaining is imported from outside.
“With Manipur being a major fish consuming state we are trying our best to solve the problem which has become a nation-wide menace. We are closely working with Central Food Technological Institute to bring out a testing kit at a reasonable price,” revealed Ch. Sanajaoba Meitei.
The testing kit which might cost Rs 10 will help the people to detect formalin or other harmful preservatives in fish, it will be introduced within a month. The ban on sales and consumption would be automatically lifted once the testing kit is introduced in the market.
The Tamenglong district authority has also prohibited sales and consumption of iced-packed fish products imported from other states.