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Last Updated:[20-01-2010 01:56:01 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

What to Eat - Farmed or Wild Salmon - Debate Rages on

tradenews It is a well known fact that salmon is the most sought after fish for its delicacy status and health benefits. Consequently, salmon is also the most farm-raised fish with its high demand and lucrative business potential.

But a recent response to a health query in the CNN website had irked the salmon producing community as it claimed farmed salmon contained harmful elements like toxic PCB (dangerous environmental pollutants), excrements and antibiotics, and only wild salmon was safe to consume. Subsequently, the CNN came out with a reactionary article titled “Farmed or wild fish: Which is healthier?” calling farmed salmon have more omega-3 fatty acids than wild salmon and benefits of eating farmed fish outweighed associated risks.

Dr. Melina Jampolis who started the fire by replying to the health query has seemingly agreed to the other researches in the CNN reactionary article, which contradicted her claim. Earlier, she based her query reply on the findings of NGO Environmental Working Group (EWG).

On the contrary, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) Health and Medicine Senior Executive Producer Gavin Gibbons responded through a letter that “EWG is not a public health organization and is not qualified to give nutrition guidance”. He also demanded the CNN to remove the article from its website.

Likewise, the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) stated that the CNN’s information was “outdated and incorrect”. While Gibbons reminded of the Harward finding which states “seafood broadly, not just farmed salmon, makes up only 9 percent of the PCBs in the average American diet, while products like vegetables make up 20 percent.”

Nevertheless, this is not the first time CNN had come out with claims of health risks on farmed salmon consumption. During a 2002 interview between the CNN anchor Daryn Kagan and the CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta evinced similar concerns on farmed salmon.

Then, Gupta argued pesticides, antibiotics and other toxic chemicals were used in all part of the farming process to keep the fish free from diseases. While Daryn remarked that farm-raised salmon were injected with red dye or pink dye to resemble with the wild ones.

The for and against arguments about the salmon consumption have put the consumers in a spot worrying which one to eat. Unfortunately, those in salmon businesses would be a more worried lot as they had to face one more obstacle of negative campaigning in an increasingly regulatory environment.

By Jose Roy

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