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Doctor’s ‘experiment’ shows harmful effects of formalin

Margao: Conducting an ‘experiment’ to demonstrate the harmful effects of formalin use on human beings, Dr Shankar Nadkarni on Monday said that it is high time that a legal course was taken on the formalin-in-fish row.

He said that Goans must take a call on eating chemical-laced fish.Addressing media persons in the city, Dr Nadkarni, a physician and farmer from Sanguem who recently toured the US, said that in that country no preservatives are used for extending shelf life of fish.

“Formalin cannot be allowed to be used on fish, and therefore there is no question of “within permissible limits’’. People of Goa have to wake up and decide. A legal action must also be taken,’’ Dr Nadkarni said.

The physician conducted an ‘experiment’ to demonstrate the harmful effects of formalin. He poured formaldehyde in a bowl and kept it open for a few seconds. He inhaled the solution, and media persons could see immediate irritation in his eyes.

He said that formalin is easily available in local markets. A bottle containing 450 ml of formalin costs Rs 42.

He explained that the use of formalin to preserve marine fish by ‘fish mafia’ in Goa can initially lead to irritation in eyes, skin, throat, stomach and respiratory tracts. It can cause anaemia and leukemia, and can damage kidneys and livers.

The consumption of chemical-laced fish could also cause cancer as well, he warned.“There are reports from the Tata Memorial Cancer Research Institute, Mumbai, which say that cancer cases have been on the rise in Goa… There is lot to read between the lines,” he observed.

When questioned whether the state government is trying to sweep FDA reports under the carpet, he said, “I have not read FDA reports. I will be able to make further comments only when I read them.” [NT]

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