CNN touts benefits of wild salmon

A recent CNN.com article claiming the health benefits of wild salmon outweigh those of farmed salmon is drawing harsh criticism from the seafood industry.

In a 12 January letter to CNN.com Managing Editor Meredith Artley, NFI spokesman Gavin Gibbons highlighted the misinformation in Dr. Melinda Jampolis’ response to the reader question, “Is farmed-raised salmon as healthy as wild?

Gibbons’ main criticism is that Jampolis’s response sources the majority of its information from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which is an environmental group, not a health or nutrition organization, and therefore is not qualified to give nutrition guidance.

Gibbons criticized Jampolis for failing to “test the accuracy and information from all sources.”

“Had she done such research she would have found that EWG’s claims about the levels of PCBs in U.S. salmon are not supported. Independent, peer-reviewed, published research from Harvard University, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reports that common everyday items like butter and even chicken contain far more PCBs than farmed salmon,” said Gibbons. “The Harvard researchers also noted that seafood broadly, not just farmed salmon, makes up only 9 percent of the PCBs in the average American diet, while products like vegetables make up 30 percent.”

“I would be surprised if I read on CNN.com that a doctor who specializes in nutrition would suggest, as she has for farmed salmon, that Americans limit their consumption of vegetables to once a week in order to avoid the 30 percent of PCBs that they contribute.”

Gibbons isn’t the only one who took issue with the CNN article. In an interview with SeafoodSource on Tuesday, Gary Fornshell, an aquaculture educator at the University of Idaho, called out Jampolis for contributing to the plethora of misinformation about seafood in the mainstream media.

NFI is calling on CNN.com to address its concerns and remove the article from the Web site.

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