Mumbai: FDA collects the fish samples, to be tested for formalin

In the recent past, the Goa government had banned fish imports from other states as a precautionary measure

Mumbai: FDA collects the fish samples, to be tested for formalin

  • The Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has collected five fish samples from different fish markets across Mumbai.
  • The fish samples have been sent to the laboratory for the purpose of testing, to find out whether the fish has been contaminated with the chemical formalin.
  • On Friday, the Kerala State Food Safety Department has seized 6,000 kg of fish which was contaminated with chemical formalin.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Shailesh Aadhav, Joint Commissioner FDA (Food) said, “Since the past few days we have noticed that the chemical formalin has been used to preserve the fish for the longer period of time. Maharashtra , also imports fish from various states. So, we will see if there is formalin in fish sold in our markets. We have collected a few samples from different parts of the city.”

He further added, “We have seized fish samples from Cuffe Parade and Crawford Market. We have sent them for sampling; the report will be submitted to the state government.”

During monsoon season, fishing is not permitted in Maharashtra, so frozen fish is imported from other states.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Damodar Tandel, President of the Fisherman Association said, “Till now, we haven’t received any information about fish contaminated with formalin chemical in the state. During the monsoon, for two months, the fishing is not permitted due to rough seas. Mumbaikars can have fish as and there is no need to panic.”

Very recently, Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa, had banned the import of fish from other states as a precautionary measure.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Jayesh Lele, General Physician in Mumbai said, “Formalin is a very dangerous chemical. Generally, this chemical is used in the mortuaries to preserve the bodies. But, now people are using this chemical to preserve fish as well. So, we must wash the fish properly and cook it so that we will not consume the chemical.”

What is formalin?

  • Formalin is a chemical used to preserve fish for a longer period of time.
  • There have been reports that traders are using the chemical to preserve fish.
  • Formalin is a carcinogenic chemical.
  • According to experts, formalin consumption can cause cancer, coughing, wheezing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, skin irritation, watery eyes, burning sensations of the eyes, nose, and throat.