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The Manipur government on Saturday banned the selling of iced-packed fish imported from other states after they found traces of formalin in the fishes. Nodal officer (Food Safety) Manipur, Ch. Sanajaoba Meitei, issued a ban order to the effect until further notice.
Following the reports of seizure of huge quantity of fish products with traces of formalin in Nagaland, Kerala, and others states, the Manipur fishery department conducted an investigation to determine the possibility of the presence this substance in fish products available in the state.
Subsequently, fish samples were reportedly collected from different outlets across the state which were later found to have traces of formalin.
“We have confirmed the presence of traces of formalin in the surveillance samples of iced pack fish products imported from outside the state of Manipur. As a result, the government has instructed to impose a ban not only on the sale of iced packed fish products but also declared the same products unsafe for consumption as it is hazardous to health”, said the nodal officer.
As per the state fishery department, Manipur consumes around 52,000 metric tonne of fish in a year. Of the total quantity, the state produces around 32,000 metric tonne while the remaining is imported from outside.
“With Manipur being a major fish consuming state we are trying our best to solve the present problem which have 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.
According to him, 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, he added.
The Tamenglong district authority has also prohibited sales and consumption of iced-packed fish products imported from other states.