The Dangers of Farmed Fish
by Dr. Josh Axe on March 3, 2010
You may have heard that eating fish is a healthy option. That’s a true statement, but in most cases today, it’s only a partially true statement. The reality of where our fish comes from is of paramount importance for our health! There is a vast different between wild caught fish and farmed fish.
Fish farms produce supermarket protein with high concentrations of antibiotics, pesticides and lower levels of healthy nutrients. Research has found that farmed fish has less usable omega-3 fatty acids than wild-caught fish and a 20% lower protein content. A USDA review confirmed the findings. Farmed fish are fattier and have a high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids. Imbalances in the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids create inflammation in the body.
Farm-raised fish are given antibiotics to stave off disease that results from crowded conditions and are also treated with pesticides to combat sea lice. Sea lice from fish farms kill up to 95% of migrating juvenile wild salmon.
The pesticides used to treat sea lice in fish farms circulate throughout the ocean. Pesticides that have been banned for decades have concentrated in the fat of much marine life.
This fat is used in the feed that fish farms use, and studies by the Environmental Working Group, along with those done in Canada, Ireland and the UK, have found that cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) exist in farm-raised salmon at 16 times the rate of wild salmon.
Dibutyltin is a chemical used in PVC plastics. Dibutyltin can interfere with normal immune responses and inflammation control in both animals and humans. A 2008 study found that dibutyltin may be contributing to the rise of allergies, asthma, obesity and other metabolic and immune disorders in humans. Scientists have found that dibutyltin in farm-raised mussels is more than 6 times higher than that of wild mussels.
Researchers have also found levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a chemical used as a flame retardant, in high levels in farm-raised fish. PBDEs are endocrine disruptors that are thought to contribute to cancer. Scientists believe that both fish feed and increasing concentrations in the open oceans are contributing to high PBDE levels in fish and humans.
Another study, conducted at the University of New York at Albany found that dioxin levels in farm-raised salmon are 11 times higher than those in wild salmon.