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STUDY: What can we eat?
JOURNAL: Environmental Working Group
AUTHORS: Jane Houlihan
ABSTRACT: Farmed salmon, which Americans are scarfing down because it is supposed to be healthy, may actually be carrying high levels of cancer-causing chemicals called PCBs.
COMMENTARY: Wild salmon fished out of rivers and streams may actually be healthier for the time being.
Farmed salmon filets from 10 grocery stores in Washington, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon, were tested and seven were contaminated with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls.
"These first-ever tests of farmed salmon from U.S. grocery stores show that farmed salmon are likely the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply," the group, a non-profit organization that investigates environmental matters, said in a statement.
"EWG's analysis of seafood industry fish consumption data shows that one quarter of all adult Americans (52 million people) eat salmon, and about 23 million of them eat salmon more often than once a month," the group said in a statement.
"Based on these data we estimate that 800,000 people face an excess lifetime cancer risk ... from eating farmed salmon."
They called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to do its own study and issue health warnings as needed.
They said their findings are supported by other studies done in Canada, Ireland and Britain.
PCBs come from hydraulic fluids and oils, electrical capacitors and transformers.
They are endocrine disrupters -- chemicals that act like hormones. They and related chemicals known as dioxins can cause cancer, infertility and perhaps other sexual changes.