Fish traders from Andhra Pradesh visiting Nagaland once again stood by their claim that formalin forms naturally in fish, though the theory has been negated by various microbiologists,
It was in the month of October last year when a team from Andhra Pradesh met the principal secretary of Health & Family Welfare department of Nagaland when the fish traders had claimed that the fishes from that State was not injected with formalin, rather it forms naturally in fish.
Later in the first week of this month, another team from Andhra Pradesh at a meeting held between Nagaland government officials and Andhra Pradesh Fish Traders (APFT) representatives on March 4, the fish traders claimed that formalin recently detected in fish in Nagaland could well be the formed naturally and not manually injected.
However, Dr Rongsenwati of Animal Health Care Centre was quoted telling a local daily that under normal circumstances, and unless the water was contaminated, formalin does not occur naturally in fish.
He was further quoted as saying that the use of formalin was unethical and fish traders should not indulge in the practice.
He also opined that unscrupulous traders use to take recourse in such malpractices because preservation in ice containers or chambers could be quite expensive.
Rongsenwati stated that fish could be preserved for weeks, if stored in iceboxes and in sub-zero temperature, indicating that, given proper preservation facilities, fish could be consumed even after a week.
Another chemist from State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL) based in Kohima, M James Richa, was also quoted by the report who had alleged that the team from Andhra Pradesh ‘were factually incorrect’ as ‘formalin cannot be present in fresh fish’.