No relief, fish importers must adhere to FDA norms, says Vishwajit Rane

Panaji, Nov 6 (TOI): The health minister Vishwajit Rane reiterated on Monday that there won’t be any relaxation for traders bringing in fish from other states as they had sufficient time at their disposal to adhere to FDA norms.

“I will not fall prey to any kind of threats or pressure tactics. The Congress’ stand on fish issue stands completely exposed,” Rane said referring to the threat of Congress’ Sindhudurg MLA Nitesh Rane that Goa-registered vehicles will not be allowed to pass through his constituency if the government does not stop formalin checks.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Vishwajit Rane said that in no circumstances he will backtrack from his stand on formalin checks, and that his cabinet colleague Vijai Sardesai is also on the same page.

Rane also stated that such threats does not bore well in a democratic setup and he will not like to comment further on Sindhudurg MLA’s statement.

“Traders will have to comply with Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) guidelines. Fish needs to be transported only through insulated vehicles,” Rane said, adding, that he even declined the request of Sawantwadi Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar seeking two months’ time for compliance.

“I put forth my viewpoint before the MLA stating that food safety is my priority and the timeframe cannot be relaxed,’’ he said.

Reacting to traders’ demand to have laboratories in every market in Goa, Rane asked them to adhere to FDA guidelines first, which nobody has done so far.

The health minister said that the inquiry against FDA officer, Iva Fernandes, who has been in the eye of storm since the formalin-in-fish controversy broke out in July, has begun.

Fernandes had alleged that she was harassed by the department after she made results of the fish samples taken from Margao wholesale market public.

The FDA officer has also filed a petition before the Goa Human Rights Commission against harassment.

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Title : No relief, fish importers must adhere to FDA norms, says Vishwajit Rane


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