JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, is assuring Jamaicans that fish being sold at the Mandeville market is safe for consumption.
He told vendors and shoppers at the market yesterday (July 29) that tests carried out at fishing villages and markets on the south coast for the presence of the chemical, formaldehyde, have all came back negative.
“We have tested the fish and those samples came back clean, and I am saying to the public that the fish at the Mandeville Market in Manchester and the others that we tested, is safe for consumption so you must come back and support the vendors, because nothing is wrong with the fish,” he stated.
The tests were carried out this month by the Veterinary Services Division and the Ministry of Health, after residents complained of getting sick after consuming fish at the Mandeville market. It was suspected that formaldehyde, used as an embalming agent, was being used to preserve fish.
Samples were also taken from the Old Harbour Bay Fishing Village and the Old Harbour Bay Market in St. Catherine; Rock Point Fishing Village in Clarendon; and the Black River Fish Market, St. Elizabeth.
The Minister, in the meantime, informed that fishing beaches across the island would be strictly monitored to ensure that no illegal or unhealthy practices are being carried out.
“We are going to be doing periodic random testing to ensure that even if there is a minority of fishers, who may be tempted to do what is said to have been done, and if we find out that people are doing it, we are going to use the law to prosecute those people because it is not a good thing for the consumers and for you the vendors,” he stated.
Dr. Tufton told the vendors that they must also play their part to ensure that “unscrupulous persons don’t disturb your livelihood and endanger the health of the consumers”.
“Make sure that you are vigilant in working with and buying fish from (fishers), who are going to abide by the law, and make sure that the consumers get the right fish,” he said.

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