Eating This Fish is Hazardous to Your Health, Experts Say – Cancer Defeated

Eating This Fish is Hazardous to Your Health, Experts Say

By Lee Euler / June 29, 2014

Many people eat a lot of salmon because it has a reputation for being healthy – omega 3 fatty acids and all that. But if you really knew what was in it, you’d be totally shocked, even disgusted.

Widely hailed as a boon to health, it’s loaded up with so many carcinogens that the scientists who conducted a recent study now advise eating it no more than three times per year in order to avoid an increased risk of cancer.i

In fact, the American toxicologist involved in the study said that neither he nor his family would ever eat it again, given what they know now. This is what they found out. . .

Continued below…

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You’ve probably heard the following dietary health advice: “Eat less red meat and more fish.”

That would be good advice in a perfect world, but in the real world you should heed this advice first and foremost: Consider the source!

Where did it come from? That’s the key question, and here’s why…

In 2013 we hit a milestone in human dietary history. For the first time ever, global farmed fish production exceeded beef production. Somewhere north of 80 percent of all fish eaten in the U.S. comes from farms. Most restaurant and grocery store fish comes from farms, with the most common farm-raised fish being salmon, tilapia, sea bass, catfish, and cod.

And sad to say, aquaculture has some scary similarities to factory farms for beef, pork, and chicken production. The differences between wild caught fish and farmed fish are just as radical as the differences between factory farming and organic or grass-fed farming.

9 things to know before you
eat another filet of fish

Farm-grown fish are crammed into cages by the thousands or tens of thousands, and subsist on fishmeal. Their close quarters breed disease and parasites, which are “resolved” with antibiotics and fungicides. This is anything but a natural habitat, and the results are glaringly evident. . .

  1. Recent studies show that farm-raised tilapia causes inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and more.ii If you’re looking to consume more omega-3s to slash your heart attack risk, you may want to forget tilapia.
  2. Farmed salmon is heavily contaminated with 5 to 10 times more cancer causing PCBs and dioxins than wild caught salmon.iii Researchers examined 700 fish from Britain, Europe, and North America, specifically looking for potential carcinogens that point to liver, breast, lymphatic and thyroid cancers.PCBs are among the “dirty dozen” chemical contaminants now slated for a global phase-out. They’re linked to cancer and fetal brain abnormalities.If you knew what went into fish feeds, it would turn your stomach. Besides chicken feces – which are apparently one of the main ingredients in farm fish feed – pig and duck waste is also common. Also common is ground fish from the North Atlantic, which has been a dumping ground for manmade toxins for decades.In three independent studies, scientists tested 37 fishmeal samples from six countries. They found PCB contamination in nearly every sample.
  3. Antibiotics and pesticides run rampant. Crowded conditions make for more disease and infestation, which in turn leads to antibiotic use. Sea lice (a parasite) are so deadly they’ve killed wild salmon that were accidentally exposed to them, so growers try to control the invaders with widespread use of pesticides. Experts estimate that farmed salmon are fed more antibiotics per pound than any other livestock in America. If you avoid antibiotic-treated beef and pork, then don’t fall into the trap of consuming fish that are raised the same way.
  4. Dioxin levels are 11 times higher in farmed salmon versus wild salmon. Dioxin is a very toxic chemical linked to cancer. Once inside you, it takes up residence for a very long time. Its half-life is a stunning 7 to 11 years.iv
  5. Also common in farmed salmon is a chemical used in PVC plastics (dibutylin). It’s toxic and can wreck your immune system and cause inflammation. It’s also linked to asthma.
  6. The farmed stuff has more flame-retardants and PBDEs than any wild salmon, except for Chinook salmon (possibly due to their larger size). In all, the Environmental Working Group found that farm-raised salmon are contaminated with more than 100 pollutants and pesticides.
  7. Artificial dyes. Farmed fish is a grayish white color instead of “salmon” pink, and consumers find it unappetizing. So farmers have a complete color palette (SalmoFan) to let them choose their salmon’s color.
  8. Poor nutrition. Hoping to scoop up omega-3s by eating salmon? The omega-3s in farmed salmon are fewer, and less bio-available to your body. In addition, you get genetically modified corn and soy when you eat farmed salmon, as well as unhealthy omega-6s.Wild salmon also has fewer calories and less sodium… while being richer in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Remember, you get by default whatever your fish eat.
  9. Environmentally harmful. Millions of fish escape and carry their toxins into the broader environment, potentially contaminating wild fish with sea lice and other pathogens. Plus, fish farms cause massive pollution to our oceans.

So I would say it’s official: Salmon may be one of the most contaminated foods in your supermarket or restaurant.

(But it’s not quite at the top of the list. The Director of Food and Water Watch declared shrimp to have the dubious distinction of being the dirtiest of all seafood. Ninety percent of them are imported and have been found to be contaminated with filth ranging from rat hair and pieces of insects to antibiotics, E. coli, and more.)

And watch out for the next hazard – GMO salmon, which has already been government-approved.

Taste the difference…

The taste difference between farm and wild is staggering. Farm-raised salmon has little flavor, so it’s usually served with a heavy cream sauce or other smothering flavor. Wild caught salmon doesn’t beg for a cover-up. Yet it’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Fish can be an incredible health builder if you eat wild-caught options. They’re loaded with omega-3 fats and natural astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant.

But despite the amazing taste difference, even wild salmon may not be completely healthy.

Thanks to decades of pollution, wild fish can contain high levels of mercury and other toxins. Fish from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic tend to be high in toxins. I think it’s wise to eat wild salmon no more than a few times a year – and farmed salmon not at all.

Don’t be fooled by fake “wild-caught” salmon

In 2006, Consumer Reports busted some companies for selling farm-raised fish as “wild-caught”. Don’t be caught off-guard. Or fooled by slick menu descriptions.

Atlantic salmon is not wild and Chilean sea bass is not caught in Chile.

One survey found that 90 percent (of 800 respondents) did not know that all Atlantic salmon is farm-raised. One-third of them believed that Atlantic salmon is wild.

Setting the record straight… Truly wild Atlantic salmon is not sold in stores, because it’s an endangered species and catching it is illegal in the U.S. So anything with the label Atlantic salmon is farm raised.

Why buy “Alaskan”?

Most people do not realize that “Alaskan” seafood cannot be farmed.

Alaska is highly protective of its brand, and the state does a good job at ensuring quality and sustainability. If you do not see the “Alaska” label or a logo from the Marine Stewardship Council, you’re probably looking at farmed fish.

Further complicating the issue is the fact that there are five species of wild Pacific salmon. Most people say king salmon (also called Chinook) is the best, but it only represents about one percent of all wild salmon.

Sockeye is also outstanding (when not overcooked), rich in omega-3s, and highly valued. Much of U.S. sockeye is shipped to Japan, but some is sold domestically.

Finally there’s coho (mostly confined to the Northwest), chum (sold nationwide in grocery stores when in season), and pink (usually canned/frozen).

Pacific Northwesterners are dedicated salmon purists. For the rest of us, it can be challenging to get sockeye salmon.

A word to the wise: you can find wild sockeye online, and they’ll ship it to you on dry ice.

When purchasing, always ask where the fish is sourced — even in high-end grocery stores. Marketers have become experts at making farmed salmon sound healthy and natural. But none has ever offered to show me a certificate to prove the feed they used contained no PCBs and other toxins.

Eat high quality fish, less often…

Like so many things, balancing price and quality is, well… a balancing act. While farmed salmon can often be found for around $8 a pound, wild caught salmon can cost three times that much.

Honestly though, you’re probably better off eating salmon less often, enjoying the real thing when you do eat it, and skipping the contaminants including mercury. Also, a little of the wild caught goes farther and is more satisfying than farmed fish. Once you’ve enjoyed wild salmon, farmed salmon will be a complete letdown.

Expect most restaurant fish to be farmed. Make a habit of asking if any of the fish on the menu is wild-caught – and where it’s sourced. Usually the server will not know and will have to ask the chef.

It may make you look snobby, but someone needs to be the guardian of your health. You can’t count on anyone else to ask these questions for you.

Look at it this way – you have standards because you know things. Besides, the chef needs to know what his customers want. Maybe next time he’ll make the extra effort to purchase wild fish.

Last issue we talked about how cancer not only wrecks your life, it wrecks your finances and sends many families into bankruptcy – mostly for patent drugs that are incredibly overpriced. This is another good reason to avoid treatments that don’t work and to put your limited resources into treatments that give you a chance. If you missed all this, we’re rerunning this important news here. . .

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Kindest regards,

Lee Euler, Publisher



ii ScienceDaily. “Tilapia contains potentially dangerous fatty acid ratio.” Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
iii Environmental Working Group. Reports Farmed Fish PCB’s.
iv Environmental Working Group. Reports Farmed Fish PCBs.
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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