- Environmental pollution is a GLOBAL issue. The people
of the earth need to get together on this issue and fight pollution.
- Once the air, water, and soil is poisoned, Earth will
simply be unliveable. When the environment is polluted and damaged in
one area, it effects the entire Earth. What occurs in the Rainforest effects
the entire planet, just as what occurs in the polar region effects the
rainforest etc etc.
- How can anyone read articles, like the one below and
not understand that we are nearing the point of no return?
- Of course institutions with "corporate interests"
like Harvard will try to obfuscate the environmental issue and make it
appear that those who warn about the environment have no basis for their
- Patricia Doyle
- PCB CONTAMINATION, SALMON - 5 COUNTRIES
- A ProMED-mail post A program of the International Society
for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org
- Source The New York Times By Marian Burros 30 Jul 2003
- Americans consume so much salmon these days -- most of
it farmed -- that it is now the third most popular fish in the country,
after canned tuna and shrimp. It is one of those foods nutritionists say
is good for you, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says you can
eat as much of it as you like.
- But a report released today by the Environmental Working
Group, a nonprofit environmental research and advocacy organization, says
that 10 samples of farmed salmon bought at markets on the East and West
Coasts were found to be contaminated with PCB's, or polychlorinated biphenyls,
at an average level far higher than any other protein source, including
all other seafood. The high levels do NOT exceed those set in 1984 by the
FDA for commercially sold fish. But they are in excess of the guidelines
set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1999 for recreationally
caught fish. The salmon tested came from 5 countries, including Canada
and the USA.
- PCB's, an industrial byproduct identified as a probable
human carcinogen, were banned by the USA in 1976. [If some of the contaminated
salmon were produced in the USA, but PCB's have been banned there for over
25 years, where is the contamination coming from? - Mod.JW]
- The study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal,
but 2 previous peer-reviewed studies of farmed salmon found similarly high
levels of PCB's. Responding to the fresh findings, Dr. Terry Troxell, a
toxicologist in the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, (CFSAN)
said, "Any time we have a standard that goes back to the 70's and
80's, it's time to review it."
- If consumers applied the findings to the environmental
agency's 1999 guidelines, they might be wary of eating farmed salmon more
than once a month.
- Farmed salmon accounts for 60 percent of the salmon consumed
in the U.S. The EPA standards, which are far stricter than those used by
the FDA, are used by states to issue weekly consumption advisories for
recreational fishing. For example, New York State says that wild striped
bass caught in Jamaica Bay should be eaten no more than once a week, based
on average levels of PCB's in the fish. [Again, where are the PCB's in
NY state waters coming from? - Mod.JW]
- One sample in the farmed salmon study contained levels
of PCB's so high that the EPA's advice would be to eat it no more than
once every 2 months. The remaining 9 samples tested exceeded the agency's
weekly recommendation. "Until we hear differently from the FDA, we
would assume that theirs are the regulations we need to follow," said
Alex Trent, acting director of Salmon of the Americas, an organization
of 80 salmon farmers in the U.S., Canada and Chile. "We assume they
know what they are doing, and the regulations and levels they have promulgated
mean that the food, including farmed salmon, is safe, wholesome and nutritious.
EPA and FDA should work out their differences.
- A high-level EPA staff member said the environmental
agency's recommendations "reflect the best science available to make
recommendations to states for setting fish advisories." The guidelines
will continue to be used, he said."
- Kimberly Rawlings, a press officer for the FDA, said
the FDA was considering updating its guidelines. "We are clearly aware
of it and actively looking at the science to see whether the science dictates
that it needs to be changed," she said.
- The Environmental Working Group's study followed the
analytical methods of the EPA, said Jane Houlihan, the group's research
director. Each sample of farmed salmon, bought with its skin on, was cut
into smaller pieces, ground up 3 times and mixed to homogenize the meat.
A portion of the fish tissue was then extracted and analyzed for PCB's.
- 3 previous studies of farmed salmon found similarly high
levels of PCB's: a study conducted at the University of Surrey in England
of salmon bought in Scotland and Belgium and reported last year 
in the Journal Environmental Science and Technology, which is peer-reviewed;
a government study for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, reported in
March 2002; and a study by Dr. Michael Easton of International EcoGenInc
in British Columbia, Canada, reported in 2002 in the journal Chemosphere,
- The Easton study, and the one from the Environmental
Working Group, found the level of PCB's in farmed salmon in the USA and
Canada 5 to 10 times higher than those in wild salmon. The average levels
of PCB's in wild salmon, according to the Environmental Working Group report,
are about 5 parts per billion (ppb); in farmed salmon, they are about 27
ppb, far below the FDA levels of 2000 ppb. EPA guidelines say that if a
person eats fish twice a week, it should contain no more than 4 to 6 ppb
- The Environmental Working Group, based in Washington
and financed by private foundations, used the seafood industry's fish consumption
data to report how many Americans regularly eat salmon. About 25 percent
of Americans eat salmon, they say; 23.1 million eat it more than once a
month, 1.3 million people eat it once a week, and 180 000 eat it more than
twice a week. From those figures, the organization conducted what it says
is the first cancer risk assessment of exposure to PCB's from farmed salmon.
The assessment estimates that 800 000 people face an increased lifetime
cancer risk of more than one in 10 000 from eating farmed salmon, and 10.4
million people face an increased cancer risk exceeding one in 100 000.
- Previous studies have shown that PCB levels in farmed
salmon are higher than in wild salmon because of the fish meal they are
fed. The meal, made mostly from ground small fish, has high levels of fish
oil to fatten the salmon. PCB's concentrate in fats. An ounce of farmed
salmon has 52 percent more fat than an ounce of wild salmon, the Department
of Agriculture says. In June , the National Academy of Sciences called
for changes in fish farming and in human consumption to reduce exposure
- "When, and if, the FDA changes its limits, we will
be the first to comply," Mr. Trent said. "They haven't proven
this point to the FDA yet. If they had, they would change their standards."
- ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
- [The difference between the EPA regulations and those
of the FDA reflect the period when the guidelines were set. There have
been changes in science since the FDA guidelines were established. Furthermore,
there have been changes in the diet of Americans, which should also be
- However, a study of 10 samples from 5 countries is not
truly representative of the situation. This article also gives no indication
of how the samples were selected, which may introduce bias into this study.
It certainly raises some questions and points out the differences in the
regulated levels of the different agencies; but without more research,
the cause for alarm may be exaggerated. Mod.TG]
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health