Do Not Eat The Toxic Biya Fish

Facebook post. BFAR reminds public ban on eating “biya”. I asked myself why. Maybe it is one of endangered species. Following the link on revealed the missing texts in title, “after 3 kids died”. So eating is prohibited cause it is a potent poison. Oftentimes, facebook posts have weird way of giving title to articles. Most of the time incomplete and misleading.

The short news: Three kids died after eating “biya”. The father and other kid was confined in hospital for two days.

Biya also known as horny goby, palo and tambagoy. It has a scientific name of Gobius criniger.

The fish contain toxin which has no known antidote. The tetrodoxin(TTX). It is far more potent than cyanide.

Poisoning can be felt 5 to 30 minutes after ingestion. The symptoms includes numbness of lips and tongue, stomach ache, lack of body coordination, chest pain, low blood pressure, unconsciousness and shortness of breath.

Prior to this incident, BFAR issued a permanent ban on two fish varieties, year 2005, the goby fish and puffer fish.

Oh! It was a long time ago. I guess the information is not well disseminated. Or, the persons involved mistaken them for other species. Or, the last thing. They are well aware of its poison properties but there is a way to get rid of toxins. The procedure was done improperly and the disaster happened.

Those were my speculations. Someone give me a light on this matter, please!

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

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