The fisheries department of Assam has asked four institutes in the state to conduct an in-depth research & inquiry about the presence of formalin in imported (chalani) fishes.
This was directed by the Fisheries Minister Parimal Suklabaidya in light of the new development.
The four institutes are –
Zoology Department, Gauhati University.
Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute,ICAR,NER, Guwahati.
College of Fisheries, Raha.
College of Veterinary Sciences,Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati.
The institutes will be required to submit a report with the Director of Fisheries after research & multiple testing of various fish samples, an official statement read.
Earlier, the state fishery department had said it does not have adequate facilities to conduct preliminary testing to detect formalin in imported fishes.
For this reason, the said department has not yet conducted formalin testing on imported fish in Guwahati city, a source said.
Notably, the presence of formalin in the fishes was first detected in a report published by the Zoology Department of Nagaon College.
In a press conference, a group of research students of the college said that they had collected samples from various local fish markets across the district and examined all the samples in all aspects at the local laboratory as well as the laboratory in Guwahati. During this, the research team got confirmation about the presence of that poisonous substance in fish available on the market.
Formalin is used as a disinfectant in industries, a preservative in some food products, funeral homes etc. It attains the state when formaldehyde is dissolved in water.