VIJAYAWADA: Additional director of Fisheries department, K Seetharamraju, former minister and current MLA Kamineni Srinivas, and food inspector Purnachandra Rao, held a press conference in the State Guest House in Vijayawada to denounce the recent news regarding the mixing of harmful chemical - formalin - to preserve the fish transported from AP to Assam.
“The claims that formalin is being mixed with the fish exported from AP are fallacious. All the fishes here are packed as per the Central Institute of Technology norms. The CM had already held a meeting with the authorities on the issue and constituted a committee that had travelled to Assam between July 13 and July 16. They had examined the samples of fishes exported from AP in the presence of the authorities there and had proved that there were no harmful additives in the fish,” said Seetharamaraju.
Kamineni Srinivas alleged that claims of fishes being laced with harmful substances were an attempt to undermine the bountiful fish-exporting business of the State. “AP exports 2,500 tonnes of fishes per day; we export the fish for 10 months in a year and other north-eastern states, where the temperature is low cannot compete with us. That is why they are resorting to spreading such outrageous rumours,” he said.
They (persons holding the press meet) further asserted that the fishes were examined by the Food Commission officials and were then exported.
“There is only one way for the formalin to have shown up in the stock sent there. The retailers in other states might be adding it to preserve the fish,” said Kamineni Srinivas.
“Farmers here do not pack the fish. There are packaging experts, who specialise in this. The Food Commission officials examine the stock after packing to ensure that no additives are present,” added Seetharamaraju.
Purnachandra Rao, demonstrated how the stock was tested for formalin with a testing kit, which consisted of a strip and cotton. Gopala Krishna, a farmer from Achampet mandal in Guntur district, said, “We do not add formalin or any other substance. The packaging is also done under strict surveillance and the officials regularly conduct checks.”