Bihar planning to ban fish from Andhra Pradesh

Bihar planning to ban fish from Andhra Pradesh

The Bihar government is mulling over a proposal to ban fish imported from Andhra Pradesh after laboratory test reports confirmed the presence of formalin, cadmium and lead.

These harmful chemicals are used for the preservation of fish, transported from the far-off coastal state.

The report has been forwarded to the health department, which is the competent body to take a call on banning the ‘cancerous fish’.

“We got the fish samples tested at Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi and Food Testing Laboratory, Kolkata. The reports confirmed the presence of harmful chemicals like formalin, cadmium and lead,” said Bihar’s Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras.

Formalin is a toxic and carcinogenic chemical used to preserve dead bodies in mortuaries. This chemical is applied to prevent fish from rotting during transportation. “Besides, exposure to cadmium can lead to flu, damage to lungs, kidney and even cancer,” said a senior official in the fisheries department.

“The laboratory test reports have been forwarded to the health department which will take a call on banning Andhra fish,” said Paras.

The health department is, however, not in a hurry to enforce a ban on fish imported from Andhra Pradesh. The department has decided to collect fish samples afresh and get them tested at the designated laboratory before taking a stand on banning it.

“We will collect the fresh samples soon and send it to the laboratory for test. Based on the outcome of the report, the health department will decide the next course of action,” said Health Minister Mangal Pandey.

“Bihar consumes 6.4 lakh metric tonnes of fish. Out of which 5.9 lakh metric tonnes of fish is supplied from within the state (ponds, lakes, reservoirs and rivers), while the remaining 50,000 metric tonnes of fish is procured from Andhra Pradesh,” said the source.