Several studies and documentaries take a critical look at the fish industry, with incredible pictures of fish farms around the world. Many still have a rather romantic vision of fishing, but in large-scale food production, the image is actually rather dark.
Fishing today is confronted with a series of serious problems, from over-fishing, from chemical pollution to genetic mutation following toxic exposures. Some consider that through intensive agriculture and global pollution, the flesh of the fish we eat is turned into a deadly chemical cocktail.
Despite this, the fish trade is in full swing.
Aquaculture presents itself as a sustainable solution to overfishing. But in reality, fish farms actually cause more problems than they do. There is very little difference, in terms of environmental pollution, between terrestrial and aquatic fattening yards.
Ranching salmon – one of the most toxic foods in the world?
Looking at the chemicals used in fish breedings in Norway, Kurt Oddekalv, a respected Norwegian environmentalist, thinks that raising salmon is a disaster Both for the environment and for human health
Under salmon farms dotted across the Norwegian fjords, there is a layer of waste 15 meters high, flanking bacteria, medicines and pesticides. In short, the whole seabed has been destroyed, and since the farms are located in open water, the pollution of these farms is by no means mastered.
A salmon farm may contain more than 2 million salmon in a fairly small area. This overpopulation causes diseases that spread rapidly among stressed salmon.
According to Oddekalv, Sea Lice, Pancreatic Disease (PD) and Infectious Salmonella Virus (ISA) have spread throughout Norway, but consumers are uninformed and the sale of these sick fish continues.
A number of hazardous pesticides (sometimes known to have neurotoxic effects) are used to ward off these pathogens. Fish has always been considered a healthy food, but according to Oddekalv, today’s salmon is one of the most toxic foods in the world!
Jerome Ruzzin, Researcher in Toxicology, confirmed Oddekalv’s allegations. He has tested several food groups sold in Norway, and indeed, the breeding salmon contains the largest amount of toxins, and with a large margin.
Overall, farmed salmon are five times more toxic than any other food product tested. In feeding studies, mice fed Breeding salmon become obese, with thick layers of fat around their internal organs. They also developed diabetes
Salmon, genetic mutationsâ € |
The pesticides used affect the DNA of the fish, which causes genetic mutations. Disturbing examples of damaged cod are captured.
What is even more worrisome is that, according to Oddekalv, about 50 percent of breeding cod is deformed this way. And when a female cod escapes, she brings these genetic mutations and malformations into the wild population.
Breeding salmon suffer from less visible but equally disturbing mutations. The flesh of the breeding salmon is “brittle” and breaks when it is folded – a very abnormal feature.
Nutritional content is also wildly abnormal. Wild salmon contain about 5 to 7 percent fat, while the strain can contain between 14.5 to 34 percent. percent.
Many toxins accumulate more easily in fats, which means that even when they are raised in equally contaminated conditions, the breeding salmon contains many more toxins than the wild.
More shocking, the research reveals that the most important source of exposure to toxins is not pesticides or antibiotics, but rather the food! The pollutants present in fish feed includes dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and a number of drugs and chemicals.
What makes the salmon diet so toxic?
So what’s the problem with feeding fish? Why is it so toxic?
In a Norwegian fish granular food plant, the main ingredient is eel, used for its high protein content and its high protein content. fat and other fatty fish from the Baltic Sea
This is where the problem begins, the Baltic Sea is very polluted. Some of the fish used have high levels of toxic pollutants.
In Sweden, fishmongers are now required to warn customers about the potential toxicity of Baltic fish. According to the government’s recommendations, you should not eat oily fish such as herring more than once a week, and if you are pregnant, the Baltic fish must be washed away.
Jan Isakson, Greenpeace’s Swedish activist, reveals some of the reasons for all this pollution. Just outside Stockholm, there is a massive paper mill on the Baltic shore that produces toxic dioxins. And nine other industrialized countries around the Baltic Sea are also dumping toxic waste. Dioxins bind to fat, which explains why herring, eel and salmon are particularly important. Severely vulnerable, and end up accumulating higher levels than other fish.
Judged unfit for human consumption, some of these oily fish are now mainly used as food on fish farms !!
One of the best kept secrets of the fish industry!
But there is another problem, and it comes from the process of making granules. Fatty fish are first cooked, giving two distinct products: the oil and Protected powder. While the oil has high levels of dioxins and PCBs, the protected powder confers more toxicity to the final product.
At the protein powder, they add an “antioxidant” called thoxyquin. According to some, it is one of the best kept secrets of the fish food industry. The thoxykine has been developed by Monsanto in the years 1950 â € “as a pesticide. Its use is strictly regulated, so why is it added to fish kibble?
A few years ago, a Swiss anti-fraud laboratory was surprised to find extremely high levels of ethoxyquin in breeding fish â € ” 10 to 20 times higher than the 50 mcg per kilogram allowed in food in the European Union; this discovery has begun to break through the secret. The thoxyquine was designed to be used on fruits and vegetables, but the fish industry has discovered another new use. They add it to granulated food to prevent oxidation and rancidity of fat.
However, fish food manufacturers have never informed health authorities of the use of this chemical. As a result, the EU strictly regulates the levels of ethoxyquin in fruits, vegetables and meat â € “there are standards, even for kangaroos and reptiles â €” but not for fish. In addition, the effects of this chemical on human health have never been established.
The only study ever done on ethoxyquin and human health is the thesis of Victoria Bohne, a former researcher in Norway, she did a number of experiments. This may be disturbing, including the fact that ethoxyquin can cross the blood-brain barrier, and may have carcinogenic effects. Bohne, like many other researchers, has suffered pressures to quit his research work after attempts have been made to falsify and downplay the significance of his conclusions.
Others have linked the secret use of ethoxyquin in the breeding of Norwegian fish, and the absence of a scientific inquiry into its effects, to the minister Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, who is also a major shareholder in a salmon farm, and has held a number of senior positions within the fishing industry
The consumption of panga in France!
In France, fish consumption has more than doubled in the last five decades, now exceeding the consumption of beef and chicken. To meet demand, Fish is imported from all over the world. It is rare to find a fish caught off the coast of France. Nearly half of all fish sold in France are raised on fish farms. Lesser known and cheaper species have also been put on the market.
The Panga, which is now one of the 10 most-eaten fish in France, was relatively unknown ten years ago. Its low price has been its best selling point. But how can this cultured fish be sold at such low prices?
Panga is one of the culinary traditions of southern Vietnam. However, behind this cultural image, there is a more worrisome reality. In the past 15 years, panga exports have become a major source of revenue for the region. In fact, 95 percent of global panga production comes from southern Vietnam, and this success is the result of human and environmental exploitation.
The breeding panga grow two to four times faster than those of the wild, allowing them to reach adult size in about six months. The fish are then picked and processed, which includes washing the nets in large tanks filled with water and polyphosphates – chemical additives that facilitate freezing.
The chemical also allows the flesh of the fish to absorb water, artificially increasing its weight. After this process, the fish no longer tastes or smells, and will take on the flavor of the spices used during cooking.
Pollution of the environment poses risks
The Mekong River, where many panga farms are found, is one of the most heavily polluted rivers in the world. In 2009, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) placed panga on the “red” list of products that pose a danger to human and environmental health.
Millions of Vietnamese households pour their waste directly into the Mekong River every day. Pesticides used in rice cultivation also migrate there. Green algae and Bacteria release toxins into the water and reduce oxygen levels, which adds additional stress to the fish’s immune system, making it more vulnerable to disease.
To cope with the disease, breeders add significant quantities of drugs to their fish ponds, including a wide range of antibiotics. Resistance to mites Drugs requires the breeders to continue increasing the doses. The panga is not the only one affected, of course. Antibiotics spread across the river, are absorbed by fish tissues and then by those who eat them.
Do You Really Eat Fish?
Fish may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat, but in the industrial age you have to be very careful about choosing the type of fish.
If you need another reason to avoid processed foods, be aware that fish waste has become a “valuable commodity” used in food At less than 15 cents per kilo, heads and tails of fish are used.
Hardly anything is lost. Fish skins are recycled to be used in the cosmetics industry. The rest of the fish waste is washed and crushed into a dough, which is then used in cooked dishes and pet food.
Given that food manufacturers are not required to tell you that their products include fish paste and not real fish meat, these products then offer a small margin of profit. very high profit. Moreover, if the list of ingredients of the product does not specify that it is made with fish fillet, it is generally made with dough of fish.
Fraud is also commonplace. Some fish pose as wild fish, especially in processed products as traceability is more complex. .
Best Options: Sardines and Anchovies
It is quite clear that fish farms are not a viable solution to over-fishing. They destroy the marine ecosystem. Unfortunately, a large majority of fish, even wild ones, are too contaminated to be eaten regularly. Most of the world’s major rivers are contaminated with mercury, heavy metals and chemicals like dioxins, PCBs etc.
This pollution particularly affects large fatty fish located at the top of the food chain: shark, salmon, tuna, or swordfish that add to the pollutants contained in their flesh, those of fish that they have eaten. © s.
The bigger the fish, the older they are and the more contaminants they will have accumulated throughout their life.
However, smaller fish with short life cycles tend to be better alternatives in terms of fat content, such as sardines and anchovies. The risk of contamination is lower and the nutritional value is higher.
As a general principle, eat small fish at the bottom of the food chain, such as sardines and anchovies, and prefer local fishing.
Related documentary: Â Special Envoy: Salmon in Norway.