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Salmon – an always healthy fish?16 Jul 2015
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Salmon is a very popular fish for the food industry. It has an extraordinary taste and is good for the health because of its polyunsaturated fatty acids. This has become common knowledge and lead to an increased demand for fresh salmon. This demand could not be satisfied by the fishing of wild living salmon – more and more aquafarming has been developed.
What is etoxyquin?

However, is has now become public that the food preservative ethoxyquin, commonly used in food pellets fed to farmed salmon, might cause health problems. Ethoxyquin is a chemical substance that has properties that makes it ideal as an antioxidant as well as a pesticide. It is not allowed for use in Australian foods nor is it approved for use within the European Union. It is, however, permitted as a food additive in the United States. What we know today is that ethoxyquin is ingested by salmon and remains in their fat tissue. At present only a few investigations have been performed, but all of them show that ethoxyquin and its dimer can be found in aquafarming salmon packed for the food industry, while there is no ethoxyquin found in wild salmon food.

Why it is a problem that ethoxyquin is present in aquafarming salmon?

There is a strong assumption that ethoxyquin will enter the human body by consuming farmed salmon. To date, not enough data is available to provide information regarding:
  • The toxicity of ethoxyquin in the human body
  • The risk of ethoxyquin for other living organisms in farmed salmon
  • The environmental risk of ethoxyquin
I think that these questions should be answered in order to protect customers.

What do you think about this situation? Would you say that the positive effects of salmon as food are of higher importance than the potentially negative effects of ethoxyquin? Or would you say that, after hearing the ethoxyquin issue, you would stop consuming farmed salmon? There is not enough wild salmon to satisfy the world's needs. Would alternative do you see? Please send us your thoughts.

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