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Farmed Fish Consumption Rising Along With PCBs

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

The Washington Post reports that half the fish consumed worldwide will be farm-raised instead of wild-caught by the year 2025, exposing Americans to more fish with plenty of healthy omega-3s and dangerous levels of toxic PCBs.

With an eye toward the $8 billion seafood trade deficit and increasing worldwide demand, the Bush administration is pushing to quintuple aquaculture yields by the same year. While fish farming provides more affordable seafood and takes the pressure off tapped-out wild stocks, current practices too often ignore aquaculture's health and environmental costs.

The Environmental Working Group conducted studies on farmed salmon from grocery stores and found on average 16 times the dioxin-like PCBs found in wild salmon. Farmed salmon is likely the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply. PCBs cause cancer and were banned in the United States in 1976.

Fish farming also harms ecosystems by releasing nutrients, waste, chemicals, and escaped domestic fish into oceans.

To read EWG's study on farm-raised salmon, please visit