Meghalaya government today issued an order banning sale of fish imported from outside the state for a period of 15 days after some samples tested positive for presence of formalin, an official said.
“The government has banned sale, storage and distribution of fish imported from outside the state for a period of 15 days from today,” Food Safety Deputy Commissioner S N Sangma told PTI.
He said the order was issued following the receipts of two fish samples which tested positive for presence of formalin. The samples were tested at the Assam-based Public Health Laboratory.
Formalin is a colourless solution of formaldehyde in water, used chiefly as a preservative for biological specimens.
The two samples tested positive for presence of formalin were taken from Jowai town of West Jaintia Hills district and Nongpoh, the district headquarter of Ri-Bhoi.
“Out of the six samples received today, two tested positive and necessary recommendations were made to the government for immediate banning of fish imported from outside the state,” Sangma said.
Test results of another seven samples out of the 26 samples which were earlier this month sent to the laboratory for test for presence of formalin was awaited, he said. Meghalaya Fisheries Minister Comingone Ymbon said the state imports about 21,000 MT of fishes mostly from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam.
The state produces only about 12,330 MT during financial year 2016-17 while the total requirement is about 33,000 MT annually, he had said.