FR CARLOS LUIS SAC, Chicalim
On the one hand, the Health Minister Vishwajit Rane assured us that the fish is safe to eat, after the NCP MLA Churchill Alemao urged the people not to eat fish for next two months. And on the other we were told that the fish samples are tested only during the nightime in a room of Patradevi police outpost. The Health Minister claimed that he and the CM is keeping vigil and monitoring the inflow of fish but their vigil looks tainted. No doubt there is an effort being made to check the fish for formaldehyde but promising 24X7 checking and doing the test only during the night doesnOt justify the pompous speech. Goa needs full-fledged laboratories to be placed at different outposts especially where there is an inflow of fish transportation vehicles from outside the state and strong loyal officials of the Quality Council of India to conduct tests. The amount of fish transported to Goa will definitely be difficult to be checked round the clock although it is promised by the government, thus rapid test kits co-developed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) could be provided to the consumers, traders, stakeholders and lab technicians. Making these rapid detection kits “CIFTest” commercially available could solve half of the problem. The kits help in the detection of formalin and ammonia. Perhaps, we ourselves could be independently deciding on whether the fish is safe for consumption or not rather than depending on a third person. Then, Whom to believe? Would not be a question popping in our minds.