Dismissing reports that fish exported from Andhra Pradesh to Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland were adulterated with formalin as fake news and were made with mala fide intentions, Kaikalur MLA Kamineni Srinivas on Wednesday said the Government of Assam (GoA), which imposed a ban for 10 days following complaints of the presence of the toxic chemical in the fish (categorised as ‘Indian major carp’), could not prove the charges.

Assam lifted the restrictions after officials of the State Fisheries department had produced evidence that the fish were free from any harmful chemicals. The other Northeastern States, which received consignments from Andhra Pradesh, too realised that their fears were ill-founded.Addressing the media along with additional director of fisheries K. Sitarama Raju and food controller Purnachandra Rao, Mr. Srinivas, who was honorary president of the A.P. Fish Farmers’ Association for a long time, said there was absolutely no need for the farmers to apply formalin as they knew the techniques of growing and non-artificial methods of preservation better than anyone else in the business. If at all adulteration happened, it should have been at the retailer end or somewhere down the line to sellers on the streets, Mr. Srinivas said.

Mr. Srinivas said the testing was done with the help of kits developed by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology as the Food Safety Standards Authority of India did not have a protocol to check whether fish were treated with chemicals.

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