The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will be testing fish at the Bohol Fish Market for formaldehyde after allegations that sea-caught products sold at the market were laced with formalin surfaced.
“Pwede ta mo-kuha og sample ron…We will do that [testing]. Mag frozen mi ana, unya dad-on namo diri sa opisina,” said BFAR 7 information officer Alma Saavedra over station dyRD’s Inyong Alagad program on Friday.
Results of the testing will immediately be made known to the public, she added.
Saavedra admitted that no testing was done prior to the surfacing of the allegations but she assured the public that fish sold at the Bohol Fish Market located inside the Agricultural Promotions Center (APC) in Tagbilaran City were not contaminated with formalin.
“Kahibaw sila na BFAR ang mo dawat. Sigurado g’yud na na dili na mag-among-among nato,” she said. “Wala na ma-testing. Pero amo na nang gi-assume na ila ng gisiguro na negative na sa formalin.”
For his part, BFAR Bohol officer-in-charge Leo Bongalos said that fish supply delivered to Bohol from Mindanao are kept fresh by immediately placing fish into freezer vans after caught at sea.
He assured the public that no preservatives, including formalin, are used on the fish.
Formalin is a chemical used to preserve corpses.
Department of Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo earlier noted through national media outlets that formalin is a toxic substance and could not be used as a preservative for any fish or meat for consumption.
He said that consumption of formalin can be fatal, as 30 ml of the substance is enough to kill an adult while small doses of it could eventually cause cancer.
The government through the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been facilitating sale of fish from Mindanao at the Bohol Fish Market, which supposedly sells the sea-caught products at lower prices.
The measure was implemented by DA Sec. Manny Piñol to help address the exorbitant fish prices in the province. (A. Doydora)