Informasjon / Miljøgifter

Contaminants found in Norwegian farmed salmon.

From 30 July 2013: The Norwegian Institute for Nutrition and Seafood Safety (NIFES) published their monitoring report for 2012 to fulfill EU sampling and reporting of the contaminants found in Norwegian farmed salmon in order to sell fish there.

Report 2013. Monitoring program for pharmaceuticals, illegal substances, and contaminants in farmed fish

I note from the values presented in the report that a 200 gram recommended serving size of Norwegian farmed salmon delivers an exposure greater than the tolerable weekly intake for methyl mercury and exceeds the tolerable daily intake for dioxin/dioxin-like PCBs currently established by the EU (2 pg TEQ-WHO)/kg body weight).

Just 2 servings of 200 grams recommended serving size of Norwegian farmed salmon from 2012 can exceed the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) for adults (60 kg) and greatly exceeds the tolerable intake for children. From EFSA «The CONTAM Panel considered new scientific information regarding the toxicity of these forms of mercury and established a TWI for inorganic mercury of 4 µg/kg body weight (bw) and a TWI for methylmercury of 1.3 µg/kg bw (lower than JECFA’s TWI of 1.6 µg/kg bw). Average exposure to methylmercury in food is unlikely to exceed the TWI, but the likelihood of reaching such a level increases for high and frequent fish consumers. This group may include pregnant women, resulting in exposure of the fetus at a critical period in brain development.»

 Metals as contaminants in food

 The observed values for cadmium in the 2013 report show that farmed salmon levels are only just below the EU maximum levels of 0.05 mg/kg ww, a cause for concern due to the doubling of the feed limit for cadmium from 0.5 mg/kg to 1.0 mg/kg feed in 2005. We know that fish do not uptake much Cd, but benthic organisms such as crabs do. This should be cause for concern regarding Cd contamination to the environment.

Comments on maximum content for cadmium in fish feed 

With respect to feeds, since 2011 we know that organochlorine pesticides, PCDD/Fs, PCBs, and brominated flame retardants carry-over from feed 5-10 times in farmed salmon as compared to terrestrial farm animals:

Carry-over of dietary organochlorine pesticides, PCDD/Fs, PCBs, and brominated flame retardants to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) fillets.

To know what is actually in the feed is a guess for most countries (note crystal violet detected in Chilean salmon by the US FDA) especially for antibiotic use, as summarized on Page 11 here: «The use of antibiotics included in the feed remains largely unrestricted in aquaculture in several countries with high and growing aquaculture production. Information on types and amounts of therapeutic agents used in aquaculture throughout the world is not easily obtainable, since only a few nations provide reliable, detailed and accessible statistics on consumption of these drugs…»

Claudette Bethune

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