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Health chiefs issue reassurance over panga fish 

Health chiefs in the Canary Islands are assuring members of the public that alarm over the consumption of the panga fish is not justified.

They say strict controls were put in force when there was a previous scare in 2010 and the import of panga into the archipelago is properly regulated.

Panga contains arsenic but it is not harmful as it is organic and there is no risk of toxicity for consumption.

The species is also known as the “catfish of the Mekong” and is imported into Spain from Vietnam in the main. It has a shape similar to that of other species of marine white fish and the same nutritional composition. It is low fat and particularly appealing to children.

The Directorate General of Public Health says imports are subject to strict controls and certificates and these are the same for the Canary Islands.

Health leaders say there have been a 53 consignments of panga into the Canaries so far this year, representing a total of 788,000 kg. Only one was rejected.

Random samples are also taken at various establishments and there are controls in school canteens.