MANILA – Tests conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Agency (DA-BFAR) showed that no formalin was introduced in the samples of "galunggong" (round scad) collected on the wet markets of Metro Manila last Wednesday.
The office of DA Undersecretary for Fisheries Eduardo B. Gongona said on Friday that the firm carried out tests on the Balintawak market, Cubao Farmer's Market and Navotas Fish Port, following reports that some galunggong, a non-Filipino fish food which was sold on the market was contaminated with formalin, a carcinogenic substance for embalming.
"However, it should be noted that on the basis of the laboratory analysis, low levels of formaldehyde were detected," the agency said. "Formaldehyde is a chemical compound that occurs naturally when the fish die, and the public is assured that the DA-BFAR, in collaboration with other relevant government agencies, will remain vigilant by ensuring that all fish products sold on the markets either locally produced or imported, safe and free of harmful substances. "
In a statement on Thursday, the DA-BFAR assured the public that the import and discharge activities will comply with a series of strict guidelines and will be strictly monitored by the BFAR and the Philippine fisheries development authority.
"More importantly, the (generally) consuming public is assured that the imported galunggong will only be unloaded in BFAR-approved cold storage facilities and thoroughly inspected to ensure that fish products entering the Philippine markets will be safe and free of harmful substances, "he said.