The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), on Monday, filed a letter petition before the High Court of Bombay at Goa, urging for a court–monitored probe into the ‘formalin in fish’ issue.
AAP leader Valmiki Naik filed the ‘letter petition’ demanding court–monitored time-bound investigation of the public bodies such as FDA, South Goa Planning and Development Authority, Margao Municipal Council, Public Health Department and the police in the ‘formalin in fish’ matter.
“We have also sent a complaint to Garima Singh, director (enforcement) of FSSAI, the parent body of FDA,” Naik informed.
While highlighting that there is a potential serious threat to public health, the AAP leader, in the ‘letter
petition’ has alleged that “these public authorities are allowing the fish traders to put public heath in jeopardy by the acts of commission or omission and are under increasing pressure not to act against those indulging in such acts that cause damage to public health and are unable to uphold the citizens right to life guarantee under Article 21 of the Constitution.”
“The suspected practice of adding formalin to preserve fish intended for consumption, constitutes one of the gravest threats to the public health and safety of the public. If fish is being preserved with the carcinogenic formalin at source or wholesale or retail level, then literally lakhs of Goan public would become unwitting victims because of their social habit of dependence on fish,” the letter petition adds.
Meanwhile, AAP’s state level convenor, Elvis Gomes has stated that “administration appeared to be continuing to withhold crucial facts, and it is not taking any real action to protect the Goans.”
The AAP has also notified Garima Singh, director (enforcement) of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India of the dubious circumstances in which the events of July 12 unfolded, states the press note issued by Gomes.
“During the Maggi noodles controversy of 2015, the so called clean chit given by Goan FDA was refuted by FSSAI, its own parent body, raising serious doubts on the credibility and independence of the local body tasked with protecting Goans from unsafe food and drugs. Despite assurances by the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar that he is personally monitoring the issue, it has been reported that no FDA officials were actually present at the fish markets,” adds the press release.
“Why couldn’t FDA inspectors enforce effective monitoring? A larger question also arises – Are the wholesale agents so powerful that even the Home Minister does not dare to live up to his promises? Lastly, the ‘test reports’ made public by FDA are incomplete, vague and appear to be a hurried reaction to AAP’s demand. The reports are yet another attempt to quell the issue. AAP is continuing with its own investigation into the matter, and will continue to present more facts and raise further questions until Goans receive the right answers,” mentions the release.
The AAP will also raise the issue at the national level as many other states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Nagaland, Assam, Orissa etc have found carcinogenic chemical laced fish being sold in their markets, adds the press note