Naidu takes note of fish contamination allegation

Amravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday wrote letters to the Chief Ministers of Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland regarding recent allegations of formalin being used as a preservative for fish that is transported from his state.

In the letters, Naidu requested the respective chief ministers to extend their support in ascertaining the genuineness of the allegations that have been leveled lately, while also requesting them to continue accepting fish supplies from the state.

Stating that since the “adverse news” has been floated in the media, the fish trade business between the states, with Andhra Pradesh being the major exporter of fish to the three state, has been badly hit. As a result, aquafarmers and traders have appealed to the state government to intervene and establish a dialogue with the respective state officials in order to restore the good trade relations for the mutual benefit of the states.

He further said that the state’s aquaculture farmers and merchants have “strongly denied” all allegations, stating that it is an effort to defame the state’s fishing business and discourage supplies from other states, thus reducing the market price.

Stating that Task Force Teams, comprising officers from fisheries, food safety and veterinary departments, conducted surprise raids on fish packing sheds, distribution points, retail fish outlets and wholesale fish markets, and tested the fish for formalin, adding that no case of formalin or ammonia usage in fishery products have been reported so far.

He also listed the measures taken up by the state government to maintain quality standards and ensure the fish is unadulterated, including the issuing of “Fish Quality Testing Quality Certificate” to the consignments of fish exported to other States.

On July 12, Assam banned import and sale of fish from Andhra Pradesh and other states for a period of 10 days after the presence of cancer-causing chemical formalin was found in the imported fish. Other states including Nagaland, Meghalaya and Goa also followed suit. (ANI)