The Bihar government on Wednesday decided to continue its ban on sale, storage and transportation of fish from Andhra Pradesh in Patna following lab tests that confirmed presence of high content of toxic chemical formalin. A team of officials will visit Andhra Pradesh to examine the fish, an official said.
Sanjay Sinha, Principal Secretary of state Health Department, said a meeting called by the chief secretary on Wednesday decided that the ban will continue on fish from Andhra Pradesh.
"It was also decided that a team of state government officials will visit Andhra Pradesh in a day or two to examine ponds as well as wholesale markets there," Sinha said.
Last week the state government had lifted the ban on sale of live fish, three days after it banned the sale, transportation and storage of all kinds of fish. Formalin is a cancer-inducing chemical, used to preserve the fish and also used in preserving dead bodies.
After Bihar banned the fish from Andhra Pradesh in Patna, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu urged his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar to take steps to restore the fish trade in the larger interest of farmers and those engaged in the trade.
In a letter to Nitish Kumar, Naidu said the fish farmer associations of his state represented to his government that their fish trade with Bihar was badly affected due to apprehensions about alleged use of formalin in the fish supplies.
"The aquaculture farmers and merchants are strongly denying the allegations that our fish traders are using formalin as a preservative for long shelf life. It is nothing but defaming the AP state fish supplies and ultimately to disturb the good fish trade relations between two states," Naidu said.
Naidu requested the Bihar government to depute a technical team to undertake quality checks to clear these apprehensions.