University at Albany Institute
for Health and the Environment

First Global Sampling Study Reveals Health Risks Associated with Consuming Farm Raised Salmon

In the most comprehensive analysis of farmed and wild salmon to date, researchers analyzed toxic contaminants in approximately 700 farmed and wild salmon (totaling 2 metric tons) collected from around the world to be representative of the salmon typically available to consumers. The study, which was sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, examined salmon produced in eight major farmed salmon producing regions and obtained from retail outlets in 16 major North American and European cities.

The study found that concentrations of several contaminants associated with serious health risks from neurological effects to cancer are significantly higher in farmed salmon than in wild salmon.

The authors concluded that concentrations of several cancer-causing substances are high enough to suggest that consumers should consider restricting their consumption of farmed salmon. In most cases, consumption of more than one meal of farmed salmon per month could pose unacceptable cancer risks according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods for calculating fish consumption advisories.

Because of the rapid growth of farmed salmon production, consumption of farmed salmon now exceeds consumption of wild salmon in U.S. and European diets.

Information from the study's authors

This study in the news:

Study finds health risks in farmed salmon (Scripps-Howard)

Study raises salmon chemical fears (Reuters)

Report Cites Health Risks of Farm-Raised Salmon (pdf) (LA Times) [original article -- requires registration]

Study: Salmon Contains Higher Amounts of Contaminants (Washington Post)