Assam: Fisheries Dept Claims That Formalin Was Found in 10 Out of 86 Fish Samples
86 fish samples in the state were collected and examined for the presence of formalin in imported fish.
GUWAHATI: The Assam government's fisheries department announced on Tuesday that 10 out of a total of 86 samples tested positive for the presence of formalin in Chalani or imported fish into Assam.
Speaking at a press conference on the subject today at Gauhati University, the fisheries department highlighted that 86 fish samples were collected from every district in the state and tested for the presence of the lethal formalin in imported fish.
A spokesperson of the department said, “We will take legal action in those districts where the fish samples tested positive for formalin. The process in that regard has already started. If found guilty, they stand to face five years in jail.”
Due to a lack of conclusive proof, the fisheries department is still unsure of how and when formalin was introduced to the fish imported into the state, the source said.
He said, “We do not have the evidence regarding where and how the formalin was mixed with the fish as of now.”
In the meantime, it has come to light that no samples from Guwahati tested positive for the presence of formalin. The official reported that eight fish samples had been collected from different parts of Guwahati for testing, but none of them had formalin present.
The authority added that formalin ingested during fish consumption can result in cancer. The agency will provide testing kits to every district in order to allow early identification and reduction in the practice of adding formalin to fish imported into Assam from elsewhere.
According to the official, based on the testing of fish samples, the department will operate in the regions where samples show formalin to be present and the results are positive.
The department also revealed additional information about the fish samples that tested positive for formalin, stating that a Chanda fish sample from Dhemaji, Rohu and Pankaj fish samples from Barpeta, Rohu and Chanda fish samples from Nagaon, and a fish each from Bijni, Darrang, Dhubri, and Bongaigaon tested for the presence of formalin.
It should be remembered that on May 9, after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) pertaining to the presence of deadly formalin in imported fish in Assam, the Gauhati High Court served notifications to the interested parties.
Following the PIL hearing, the Gauhati High Court informed the state government, the fishery department, and the food safety authorities that the sale of imported fish with formalin would be prohibited.