‘World-class food testing facility in Goa soon’

The Goa government has tied up with the Commerce and Industry Ministry to set up a world-class food testing facility in the coastal state, a Union Minister said on Monday.

Speaking to the media at the State Secretariat, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu said that setting up of the testing facility will rid “certain apprehensions in the minds of people about the quality of fish”.

“We are working very closely with the Goa government. It is a joint endeavour on part of the Centre and the state government to ensure that whatever are the apprehensions will be completely dispensed. We will be able to address it in a proper and effective manner. We will also put a system of online complaints,” Prabhu said.

“Over a period of time, Goans will be very happy to know that they are eating everything which is at par or better than the rest of the world eats, in the most developed countries,” the Minister said, adding that Central government agencies namely the Quality Council of India and Export Inspection Agency, have been roped in to certify the quality of fish sold in the coastal state, in order to rid the consumer of the doubt that the fish being sold in Goa is laced with formalin.

The controversy erupted in July after a Food Drugs Administration team found traces of formalin, a carcinogenic cadaver preservative, in fish sold in Goa.

The BJP-led coalition government has been on the back-foot ever since, after several of its ministers were accused of allegedly protecting fish traders who were reportedly importing formalin-laced fish consignments into Goa from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

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