Carcinogenic chemicals: Bihar bans Andhra, Bengal fish

The move comes after laboratory test reports confirmed presence of formalin, cadmium and lead. PTI (Representation Pic)

The Nitish regime in Bihar on Monday banned sale of fish procured from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

The move comes after laboratory test reports confirmed presence of formalin, cadmium and lead. These harmful chemicals are used for preservation of fish, transported from the far-off coastal State Andhra as well as neighbouring state West Bengal.

“Anyone found selling fish procured from Andhra and Bengal will be slapped with a seven-year jail sentence, besides a fine of Rs 10 lakh,” said Principal Secretary of Health Department, Sanjay Kumar, while issuing ban orders for the cancerous fish. The Health Department is likely to review its order after a fortnight.

The fish samples were tested at the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi and Food Testing Laboratory, Kolkata. “The report confirmed the presence of harmful chemicals like formalin, cadmium and lead,” said the official.

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. “Similarly, exposure to cadmium can lead to flu, damage to lungs, kidney and even cancer,” said another official in the Fisheries department.

“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,” the official added.

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Carcinogenic chemicals: Bihar bans Andhra, Bengal fish

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