WP slams farmed fish
Most of us are probably aware that eating fish — which is low in saturated fat and high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and such nutrients as selenium and vitamins D and B2— is an important part of a healthy diet.
But it can be difficult to reconcile the knowledge that eating fish helps prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer, reduces hypertension and aids brain development with reports about elevated mercury levels in tuna and swordfish, and with recalls of fish tainted with listeria, salmonella and other dangerous bacteria.
And how to balance the experts who recommend eating eight ounces of seafood a week against those who raise health concerns about the rapidly growing number of fish raised in aquaculture farms? “It’s not something that’s been exhaustively researched, but from the few studies out there on specific fish or incidents, we can put them together and get a picture that there is a possibly a real health risk to people if they are eating a lot of [farmed seafood],” says Meredith Moore, senior research and policy analyst for the nonprofit advocacy group Food and Water Watch.
Moore cites the heavy use of chemicals — including pesticides and antibiotic and antifungal drugs — in many aquaculture operations as a major concern. “There’s a lot that gets dumped into these facilities in order to try to keep fish healthy in really crowded conditions .?.?. and those chemicals or residues can end up on or in the fish,” she says.