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Something is fishy


Last Edited: October 4, 2007, 2:44 pm

"In an analysis of salmon toxicants published 9 January 2004 in Science, a team led by environmental affairs professor Ronald Hites of Indiana University showed that farmed salmon contain significantly higher concentrations of 14 organochlorine contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins than their counterparts caught in the wild. As a result, the investigators contend, farmed salmon may pose health risks to consumers, who should limit their intake of these fish and opt for the wild variety whenever possible."

Years ago when I began experiencing symptoms of the change of life cycle (when do I change back?) I was told to eat salmon twice a week.  The fish oils have been proven in many studies to prevent certain cancers, like breast cancer.  It's also supposed to be good for your heart.

I guess I've been eating a "significantly higher concentration of contaminants" for my health.


So I did a little more research.  Did you know that the flesh of farmed salmon is naturally a grayish color?  The salmon get that bright pink pigment from eating certain small crustaceans like krill in the wild. There was a lawsuit against some supermarket chains in 2003 including Albertson's, Safeway and Kroger.

A law firm is suing the country's three largest grocery chains, contending they should tell shoppers that the farm-raised salmon they sell has been dyed pink. The three lawsuits, proposed as class actions, were filed Wednesday against the Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and Albertsons Inc., said lawyer Paul Kampmeier of Smith & Lowney of Seattle. "Pink sells salmon," he said. "To artificially color salmon without giving that information to consumers, we believe that's unfair and deceptive."

Here's a study from the EWG (Environmental Working Group)


Last year the FTC filed suit against a company for misleading ads promoting farmed salmon to pregnant women.

The six-page ad, paid for by the trade association Salmon of the Americas (SOTA), made extensive claims about the health benefits of farmed salmon for pregnant women and their unborn babies. The ad proclaims "Ocean-Farmed Salmon — just what the doctor ordered" under a picture of a pregnant woman.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," said Dr. David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany's School of Public Health and co-author of the largest and most comprehensive study of toxins in farm-raised salmon. "Farm-raised salmon has been proven to contain high levels of PCB's and other chemicals that are harmful to developing fetuses and increase the risk of cancer to the mother. Farmed salmon is definitely not what the doctor — at least this doctor — would ever order for expectant mothers."

Perhaps I should stick to tuna.  That said, high levels of mercury have been reported in tuna over the past decade. Not long ago the EPA advised that approximately 300,000 newborns every year are exposed to elevated levels of mercury contamination from maternal fish consumption.

I probably need to move to Norway or Alaska and learn to fish.

Entry #82


ToadSchmodeComment by ToadSchmode - October 5, 2007, 6:34 am
You don't need to go that far! The Rogue River on the Cali/Oregon border has some excellent Salmon fishing. They never let any industries around the river so it's still one of the cleanest rivers left in america. Grants Pass Oregon is a beautiful place...
On another note, all of our food chain is gettin pretty bad. Most of it doesn't have much of taste, it looks pretty, but taste bland, you have to add more flavoring to make it taste edible.
Rick GComment by Rick G - October 5, 2007, 9:37 am
I'll stick to the Wendy's Baconator sandwich.
Comment by superbama - October 11, 2007, 12:27 pm
As a chef in the Seattle area I know this all too well. Unfortuantly wild salmon may one day be a thing of the past. All the runs on the east coast are long dead and several here on the west coast need serious help. If we could take 5 years off of eating and just work on managing our waterways with our "partners" the Canadians we could enjoy another 100 years of fresh wild salmon.

Speaking of Norway I believe that is the country that had a rebirth of their salmon runs by not overfishing for a number of years.

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