THE Health Ministry should conduct a detailed study on whether formalin is being been used to preserve fish, reported Malaysia Nanban.

Consumers Association of Penang education officer N.V. Subbarow said the chemical, which was used to delay the decaying process of bodies, could have been used to make fish look fresh.

He said in his interviews with fishermen in Pangkor, Pantai Remis, Taiping and Penang, he found that those who returned after a day at sea did not use the chemical.

However, Subbarow said fishermen who were out at sea for a longer stretch of about 10 days usually resorted to mixing a few drops of formalin with ice to ensure the freshness of the fish.

Doctors, he added, had confirmed that the usage of formalin on foodstuffs might cause various health problems.