Tanzania: Devious Traders Reportedly Contaminate Fish

FISH consumers should become aware as unscrupulous fish wholesalers are allegedly using poisonous pesticide for dipping cattle and other animals to prevent fish from deteriorating during transportation.

The shock practice came to light after Nkasi Executive Director's Office in Rukwa region and Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) nabbed a petty trader Dermes Batupu in possession of two tonnes of smoked fish preserved with poisonous pesticide for killing ticks on livestock.

The petty trader from Kalungu fishing village along the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika in Nkasi District was on the process of smuggling the two tonnes of dried fish to the neighbouring Burundi for sale.

Nkasi District Executive Director (DED) Misana Kwangula made the shocking revelation here over the weekend during the destruction of the seized dried fish before members of district security and defence committee.

The allegedly poisonous fishes were destroyed at Namanyere, the headquarters of Nkasi District in Rukwa region.

Narrating the dreadful practice, Mr Kwangula said the apprehension of the petty trader and seizure of the two tonnes of dried fish preserved by poisonous pesticide followed a tip off from law abiding citizens.

"The suspect has so far been arrested and after interrogation, he confessed to have used pesticide for dipping cattle to kill ticks to preserve two tones of dried fish from deteriorating while transporting them to Burundi for sale.

He also accepted to pay a fine of one million shillings and the seized fish to be destroyed by fire....the suspect will any time be arraigned before the court for further legal measures," added the DED.

When contacted for comments the Principal Livestock Officer from Rukwa Regional Secretariat, Dr Respius Maengo told the 'Daily News' over the phone interview that any kind of pesticide is poisonous to human being.

"There are shocking reports that some unscrupulous traders use toxic, formalin a chemical for preserving dead bodies as well as pesticides for preserving fish from being deteriorated ...

Such malpractice is unacceptable because the chemicals are poisonous and unfit for human consumptions.....there are different types of pesticides but all of them are poisonous," he added.

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