Amid a controversy over the alleged presence of formalin in fish imported in Goa, the fish and other edible products, including milk and fruits, would now be tested by the Export Inspection Council (EIC) before they are cleared for consumption, a state minister said here Thursday.
The EIC is the Central authority for certification of seafood for export. Food and Drugs Administration Minister Vishwajit Rane said the EIC will do random sampling of fish, milk, fruits and vegetables in the coastal state before certifying them.
The minister had called upon Union Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu against the backdrop of formalin issue.
"The EIC, along with the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and Quality Council of India (QCI), will establish a scientific protocol for sampling and testing to detect the presence of formalin (a chemical preservative) in fish, which will boost confidence of consumers," Rane told PTI.
Goa has witnessed a huge controversy over the alleged presence of formalin in fish imported from other states. Rane said a state-of-the-art laboratory facility for testing the edible products will come up in Goa which will cover the entire state and Konkan region.
Rane and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai held a meeting on Monday on the issue. The minister said the QCI has also agreed, subject to the requirement by the government of Goa, to launch a mobile food testing lab in the coastal state with a facility to test formaldehyde (formalin) in fish.
"The proposed EIC laboratory will be set up at a cost of Rs 15 crore, which will be borne by the Central government," he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)