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You May Be Buying Salmon Infected with Dangerous Fish Viruses
Morton tested farmed salmon purchased in various stores and sushi
restaurants around British Columbia, and samples tested positive for
at least three different salmon viruses, including:
Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISA)
Piscine reovirus, which gives salmon a heart attack and prevents
them from swimming upriver
The problem with this, aside from the unknown effects on human health
from eating salmon with lethal fish viruses, is that viruses are preserved
by cold, and fish are always kept frozen for freshness. Then, when you wash
the fish, the viruses get flushed down the drain and depending on your sewer
system, could be introduced into local watersheds. The environmental impact
of this viral contamination is hitherto unknown, but it’s unlikely to be
“This is why it must become public,” Morton says.
She insists that consumers, stores and trading partners must become aware
of this problem, and be the ones to insist on proper testing and remedial action.
It’s not just about protecting certain species of fish, it’s about the health of the
ecosystem as a whole; it’s about human health and food safety as well.
How can you tell whether a salmon is wild or farm raised? As explained
by Morton, the flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red, courtesy of its
natural astaxanthin content. It’s also very lean, so the fat marks, those
white stripes you see in the meat, are very thin. If the fish is pale pink
with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.
Farmed Fish Pose a Number of Health Hazards to Your Health
Farm raised fish of all species can spell disaster for your health in a
number of ways. It's important to understand that ALL farm-raised fish –
not just salmon -- are fed a concoction of vitamins, antibiotics, and depending
on the fish, synthetic pigments, to make up for the lack of natural flesh
coloration due to the altered diet. Without it, the flesh of caged salmon,
for example, would be an unappetizing, pale gray. The fish are also fed
pesticides, along with compounds such as toxic copper sulfate, which is
frequently used to keep nets free of algae.
Not only do you ingest these drugs and chemicals when you eat the fish,
but these toxins also build up in sea-floor sediments. In this way,
industrial fish farming raises many of the same environmental concerns about
chemicals and pollutants that are associated with feedlot cattle and factory
chicken farms. In addition, fish waste and uneaten feed further litter the
sea floor beneath these farms, generating bacteria that consume oxygen vital
to shellfish and other bottom-dwelling sea creatures.
Studies have also consistently found
levels of PCBs, dioxins, toxaphene and dieldrin, as well as mercury, to be higher
in farm-raised fish than wild fish. This fact alone would be causeto reconsider
consuming farmed fish!
Wild caught fish have already reached such toxic levels, it's risky to
recommend eating them with a clear conscience. For example, according to a
US Geological Survey study, mercury contamination was detected in EVERY fish
sampled in nearly 300 streams across the United States. More than a quarter
of these fish contained mercury at levels exceeding the EPA criterion for
the protection of human health. So, when you consider the fact that factory
farmed fish typically are even MORE toxic than wild-caught fish and also
contain an assortment of antibiotics and pesticides, avoiding them becomes
a no-brainer – at least if you're concerned about your health.
To learn more about the differences between farmed salmon and wild
salmon, specifically, please see my interview with Randy Hartnell, founder-
president of Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics. I'm a huge fan of their
wild sockeye salmon, and beside a fish dinner at a restaurant here or there,
Vital Choice salmon is about the only type of fish I eat.
Buying Local Increases Food Safety and Food Security
Morton recommends buying local foods and wild fish. I couldn’t agree
more. As mentioned in the film, disease in farm animals is one of the
biggest sources of epidemics in humans. Therefore, the health of food
animals cannot be treated as some sort of idealistic notion relegated to tree-
huggers and animal-welfare crusaders.
Fish farms are the aquatic version of a confined animal feeding operation
(CAFO), and just like their land-based cattle- and chicken farms, aquatic
CAFO’s are a breeding ground for disease and toxic waste, and produce food
animals of inferior quality. Due to the dramatically increased disease risk—a
natural side effect of crowding—these animals are further contaminated with
drugs, and in the case of salmon, synthetic astaxanthin, which is made from
petrochemicals that are not approved for human consumption.
Wild salmon are dying from diseases cultivated and spread by salmon
farms. Where is the sense in this? And instead of selling wholesome,
nutritionally-superior wild salmon, Canada is selling inferior and
potentially diseased salmon raised in fish farms. Who benefits, and who
The industry will tell you the world needs inexpensive food, and
inevitably, they insist that such foods can only be created using the
latest technology and artificial means. The latest example of this
craziness is the creation of what amounts to a vegetarian fish diet
designed for carnivorous fish. Instead of fishmeal, the protein in
this feed comes from bacteria, yeast or algae instead. This way, fish
farms will not need to use valuable wild fish to feed farmed fish, and
this, they claim, will help alleviate world hunger... Never mind the fact that
by altering a fish’s diet in such a drastic way, you’re undoubtedly altering its
nutritional content as well.
So at what cost should we clamor for cheap foods? At the expense of our
environment and, potentially, the very lives of our descendants? We cannot
be so blindly arrogant as to think that we can survive as a species if we allow
the ecosystem to fall apart.
The ramifications of our large-scale, mass-producing, chemical-dependent
food system are incredibly vast, which is why I urge you to become more
curious about your food. Where, and how was it raised, grown, or
manufactured? These things do matter; for your health, and the health and
future of our planet.
Like Morton, I am also very concerned about our vanishing freedoms and
increasing “corpotocracy,” where citizens are ruled by multi-national
corporations with just one goal in mind: Maximizing Profit. A glaring example
of this loss of freedom was Bill 37—the inappropriately named “Animal Health
Act” which, had Canada made it into law, would have made it a crime to report
farm animal disease to the public. Under this bill, informants would face a
$75,000 fine and two years in prison simply for naming the location of a
disease outbreak. Fortunately, the Act was dropped, but could potentially be
revived sometime in the future...
Thank You Dr. Mercola
God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
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Belton, Tx. 76513