Meghalaya bans fish from outside as tests reveal formalin presence

Shillong: Meghalaya government on Thursday issued an order banning sale of fish brought in from outside the state for a period of 15 days after sample test of river water fishes shipments showed presence of formalin, an official said.

“Storage, distribution or sale of imported fresh fish or crustaceans brought from outside the state is hereby prohibited for a period of 15 days in the interest of public health or till corrective measures are taken with effect from the date of issue of this notification,” FSSAI commissioner RM Kurbah said in an order.

Non-Compliance to this Notification will attract imprisonment upto 7 years and a fine of up to Rs Ten Lakh as per law, ahe said.

Formalin is a colourless solution of formaldehyde in water, used chiefly as a preservative for biological specimens.

At least 30 of 42 samples collected from all districts had tested positive for formalin.

More samples are being tested at the state food lab here.

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The state ships in about 21,000 MT of fishes mostly from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam.

The state produced only about 12,330 MT during financial year 2016-17 while the total requirement is about 33,000 MT annually, a senior supply department official said.

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