Bhubaneswar: Allaying the fear among people of Odisha about presence of formalin in fish, Health Minister Pratap Jena on Monday said that as many as 89 samples have so far tested negative for the cancer-causing chemical.
“A total of 137 fish samples were collected from different markets and outlets of 20 districts. Of these samples, 89 tested negative for formalin,” he said.
The Minister further assured that the Odisha government will never compromise on the health of its people.
The department had earlier clarified that freshwater fish sold in markets across Odisha are absolutely safe for consumption as no traces of formalin were found in them.
Samples of varieties of fish have been collected from different places in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Balasore and Rourkela since July 13 and sent to laboratory for tests.
Notably, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Secretary Vishal Gagan on July 13 had confirmed presence of formalin in Pomfret fish samples picked up from Unit-4 fish market in Bhubaneswar.
Besides, traces of formalin were also detected in two marine fish samples collected from different markets in Sambalpur district on July 19.
In a letter to the district public health officials and municipal corporations, Commissioner of Food Safety Archana Patnaik had asked them to collect samples of fish and send them to the National Food Testing Laboratory.
Citing reports in the print and electronic media, she directed the officials concerned to instruct the food safety officials concerned to collect random samples.