IMPHAL, July 1 - After Nagaland, Manipur Government has also banned sale of fish imported from outside the State after authorities found traces of formalin in the imported fish.
Nodal Officer (Food Safety) of Manipur Health Services, Ch Sanajaoba Meitei, has issued an order in this regard. It also directed that the sale of ice-packed fishes containing traces of formalin is �not allowed in the entire State for consumption by public until further orders.�
Manipur State Fishery department conducted an investigation to determine the presence of formalin in fish imported from outside the State following the reports of seizure of huge quantity of fish products in the markets of neighbouring State of Nagaland, Kerala and other States after authorities there found traces of formalin in the fish.
The authority confirmed the presence of traces of formalin in the samples of ice-packed fish products imported from outside the State. Following the result, the State Government has instructed to impose ban not only on sale of ice-packed fish products containing formalin but also declared the same products unsafe for consumption as it is hazardous to health, State officials said.
Manipur being a major fish consuming State, the State Government is closely working with Central Food Technological Institute to bring out a testing kit at a reasonable price for public distribution to test presence of formalin, they added.
According to State Fisheries department, the State consumes around 52,000 metric tonnes of fish annually but the State produces only around 32,000 metric tonnes. The remaining 20,000 metric tonnes are imported from outside the State.
Meanwhile, fish traders in Imphal who received imported ice-packed fish through five agencies, have expressed serious concern over the sudden announcement of the ban. Reports said around 1,000 fish traders in the State are affected by the ban.