No fromalin but BFAR finds small amount of formaldehyde in galunggong imports
Tests conducted by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) showed that no formalin was introduced to the samples of “galunggong” (round scad) collected from Metro Manila wet markets last Wednesday.
The Office of DA Undersecretary for Fisheries Eduardo B. Gongona said on Friday the bureau conducted tests in Balintawak Market, Cubao Farmer’s Market, and Navotas Fish Port, following reports that some galunggong, a staple Filipino fish food, sold in the market had been tainted with formalin, a carcinogenic substance for embalming.
“It must be noted, however, that based on the laboratory analysis, low levels of formaldehyde were detected,” the bureau said. “Formaldehyde is a chemical compound, which naturally develops when the fish dies. The public is assured that, in collaboration with other concerned government agencies, the DA-BFAR will continue to remain vigilant in ensuring that all fish commodities that are sold in the markets, either locally sourced or imported, are safe and free from any harmful substances.”
In a statement on Thursday, the DA-BFAR assured the public that the import and unloading activities will adhere to a stringent set of guidelines and will be strictly monitored by the BFAR and the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority.
“More importantly, (the) general consuming public is assured that the imported galunggong will be unloaded only in BFAR-accredited cold storage facilities and will undergo thorough inspection to ensure that the fish commodity that will enter Philippine markets are safe and free of harmful substances,” it said. (PR)