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Sunday, July 14, 2024

No formalin in round scad, says BFAR

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The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said Friday samples of galunggong or round scad collected from the Navotas fish port, Balintawak and Farmer’s Market in Cubao had tested negative for formalin.

BFAR director Eduardo Gongona assured the public of his agency’s efforts to collaborate with other agencies to monitor if round scad tainted with formalin were being sold in the markets.

He made the statement even as Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Thursday an initial 17,000 metric tons of round scad from Vietnam, Taiwan, and China were expected to be shipped to Metro Manila next month.

Piñol has allowed the importation of round scad for 90 days starting Sept. 1 to boost local supply and prevent an increase in the prices of the staple Filipino fish dish.

“For Metro Manila, an initial 17,000 metric tons of galunggong from Vietnam, Taiwan, and China are expected to be imported by fisheries stakeholders”•including fishing boat operators who will hang their nets during the closed fishing season”•and organized fish vendors associations,” Piñol said in a Facebook post.

Gongona said the Agriculture department and the BFAR will continue to stay vigilant in ensuring that all the fish in the markets are safe and free of harmful substances.

“It must be noted, however, that based on the laboratory analysis, low levels of formaldehyde were detected, Gongona said.

Formaldehyde is a chemical compound that naturally develops when a fish dies.

A fishermen’s group”•the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas”•earlier said some round scad-importing countries such as China had allegedly used formalin to preserve fish harvests. With PNA

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