Goa will have a world-class laboratory to check the quality of food items, including fish, and roadmap for the purpose has been worked out by the Centre and the state government.
This announcement was made by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu on Monday after meeting with a high-level delegation of the state government at the Secretariat.
There have been widespread apprehensions in the state over the safety and quality of food ingredients, especially after the formalin-in-fish row broke out.
The delegation comprised Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma and food and drugs administration director Jyoti Sardesai.
The central government in association with the state will set up the laboratory in Goa to check the quality of food items after apprehensions were raised in the recent past, Prabhu said.
The proposed establishment of a laboratory by central government’s Export Inspection Agency and Quality Council of India to ensure safety of fish and other food items was also discussed at the meeting.
Addressing media persons after the meeting, Prabhu said, “Anything that is edible must be of best quality… keeping that in mind we have decided to set up a world-class laboratory in Goa.”
The Union minister also said that a van with laboratory facilities will be launched in the state to check quality of food items and fish.
It has also been decided to start online assistance system for public to file complaints pertaining to quality of food items including fish.
“Last week it was pointed out to us by Health Minister Vishwajit Rane that there are some apprehensions in the mind of people about the quality of fish,” Prabhu recalled, adding that soon after the particular meeting the Centre had dispatched a team of officers to Goa to assess the situation in view of the formalin-in-fish issue.
Monday’s meeting stressed on ensuring that the food that is available in Goa conforms to high standards.
The organisations like EIA and QCI, whose certification is accepted by the countries in Europe, Japan and the USA, will assist in setting up the quality testing facility in Goa, the Union minister explained.
Observing that a ban on fish imports should be the last resort, he said that our priority is to put a system in place to ensure that people get safe and quality food and fish.
Sardesai said the state government and the Centre are doing their best to keep the staple diet of Goans safe.
Source:: The Navhind Times