WHATEVER reason any trader may have to preserve or treat fish or any foodstuff with mercury (which is perhaps not the logic) and then sell to the public can not be comprehend by any fully functioning man.
For that matter the government has all the reasons to destroy any foodstuff in the public that is tested and found to have strains/ contaminated with any poison like mercury that is not friendly to human life.
As was reported recently in Dar es Salaam that the State had to destroy 11 tonnes of toxic Tilapia worth 66m/-smuggled into the country, what one may ask is why must a trader bring in such a consignment and sell to fellow citizens, knowing very well that it is poisonous and would kill?
It is hats off to the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Luhaga Mpina to have set ablaze such a consignment without compromising with the importers and if possible they should be brought into a court of law so that the citizens know their aim and network.
Whichever way one may look at it the fish stacked in a 40-feet container and sneaked into the country, must have meant that some hands were oiled to make the business reach the market, without the traders also taking into account the health consequences to the public.
Health experts (custodians of the citizens in health issues) will not buy such kind of business into the country because exposure to mercury and inhalation can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal to a person.
Health experts will also point a picture that the inorganic salts of mercury are corrosive to the skin, eyes and gastrointestinal tract, and may induce kidney toxicity if ingested.
Still it takes up to 18 years for the body to clear half of the dose of mercury from the body once consumed by a person, which may have economic and health burden on the person who has taken it to be treated.
He added that another toxin found in the fish that almost entered the market was 2.4′ DDT whose concentration in the stock was measured at 19.4, far above the allowed below 10.
“The tests found 690 PPB (parts per billion) of mercury which is above the authorised measurement of 500 PPB,” Mpina said.
In a nutshell we must support the government and report any dubious trade and dishonest people living in the society, because at the end of the day, their businesses will kill us.
The citizens must know that it is a criminal that comes first before a law enforcing agency follows to intervene and these criminals are living with us.