Toxic fish: ‘No Formalin’ found in samples from 20 districts

Bhubaneswar: Amid reports of presence of cancer-causing Formalin in fishes in Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur, Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena today urged people not to panic citing that government has not found any traces of the toxin in the samples sent for testing.

Briefing media persons Jena said, “After the Fisheries department detected Formalin in fishes; Health Department had collected 137 fish samples from over 20 districts of the State. Eighty nine samples have been tested so far in the state laboratory and no traces of Formalin were found.”

However, the testing of the rest of the samples are underway and if any such chemical is found in them, appropriate measures will be taken by the government, the Minister added.

Earlier on Thursday, a joint team of Fisheries department and Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) conducted raids at Kulutakanhi area in Sambalpur town and found traces of Formalin in two different species of fish. The chemical was found after an on-the-spot test with the CIF kit following which the samples were sent to State Laboratory for detailed examination.

It may be noted that after the Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Secretary, Vishal Gagan confirmed the presence of Formalin in Pomfret fish in samples collected from Unit IV market in Bhubaneswar on July 13, the Commissioner of Food Safety had directed all the District Public Health Officers-cum-Designated Officers and Municipal Corporations of the State to collect samples of fish and send it to the Central Food Testing Laboratory for examination.