Terming the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) handling of formalin-in-fish row as shameful, Congress’ Curtorim legislator Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco on Friday demanded resignation of FDA director Jyoti Sardessai on the grounds that she has failed in fulfilling her duties to test fish for formalin.
Lourenco also demanded the report of the detailed enquiry carried out by additional health secretary Ashok Kumar to probe the role of officials in the formalin row.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Lourenco said that FDA has failed to ensure that safe fish is made available to Goans.
He said, “The government instead of setting up international lab should address the problems in FDA which is afflicted by understaffing and mismanagement at the top level. It is high time that FDA is made accountable.”
“People are scared of eating fish. People need comprehensive solution to the formalin-in-fish row. The FDA should be transparent in its functioning and take stakeholders into confidence to bring out a viable solution,” he said.
To a question, he said, “Congress is not against the ban but imposing it and then lifting is not a solution but rather it appears to be a scam. I was taken aback by the decision of health minister of withdrawing six months import ban within 48 hours of his decision. The second order on ban should have been implemented long ago.”
“If there was no problem with quality of fish imported after lifting the first 15 days ban beginning July 18, then why did the government from July 12 till October-end kept on saying that the imported fish is safe for consumption?” Lourenco asked.
“The culprits behind this entire issue should not be protected but should be booked under the law. Who is involved in stopping the filing of FIR against fish trader M Ibrahim?” he questioned.
He also demanded for a joint conference of Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai, NCP MLA Churchill Alemao, FDA director Jyoti Sardessai, and head of wholesale fish market association Maulana Ibrahim on clarifying their stand on the issue.
He also reminded the fisheries minister about the assurances over setting up fisheries corporation to provide cheap and good quality fish to Goans. “People are buying expensive fish because of the scarcity. The state government had assured about setting up of a fishing corporation to provide cheap and quality fish to Goans. Where has that assurance gone?” questioned the senior Congress leader.
Source:: The Navhind Times