Some market women who trade in dried tilapia popularly referred to as ‘Koobi’ have threatened to stage a naked demonstration if the reports that the fish sell is preserved with a cancer-causing substance, formalin are not stopped.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng during a working visit to the Food Research Institute (FRI) said some traders use formalin in preserving ‘koobi’. He cautioned traders who engage in such practices to desist from it.
But the traders who sell ‘koobi’ say they do not use formalin for preserving their ‘koobi’.
Awo Dede has been selling ‘koobi’ for over 15 years. She questioned why she will use such chemical when she consumes some of the ‘koobi’ she sells.
“My son is in the United States, I send him koobi and other Ghanaian products. I also use some for my soup and stew. So why will I use such poisonous chemical to preserve my products.”
Another koobe seller, in an angry tone demanded that the Minister retracts his statement since it will reduce their sale.
“He must apologise and retract the lies. This will cause a reduction in our sales. Even now without the rumour patronage is low. We will demonstrate if the media does not spreading such stories.”
Formalin, which is a chemical used to prevent dead bodies from decomposing, is allegedly being used by the traders to preserve the fish; thus making it stiff, have a rubbery feel, clear eyes, red gills and take away its odour as well as drive away flies.