After several years of controversy and an alert launched by the Norwegian newspaper “VG”, the Norwegian health authorities have been forced to admit that their farmed salmon is dangerous for health. They even advised “the population to reduce or even in some cases to proscribe its consumption, especially among sensitive people.
In fact, even under very strict breeding standards, salmon come into contact with chemicals that pose a health risk. Anne-Lise Bjorke Monsen from Bergen Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory explains: “pollutants found in farmed salmon have a bad influence on brain development, and are associated with autism, hyperactivity and the drop in IQ.
A real danger for children and pregnant women
In particular, diflubenzuron, an insecticide considered “highly toxic to aquatic organisms” by the European Food Safety Authority, is found in farmed salmon. However, “this substance does not have authorization for placing on the market Community or French as a veterinary drug”, wrote to his Norwegian counterpart, in 2010 already, the French Minister of Agriculture of the time, Bruno Le Mayor.
Even more disturbing: according to Anne-Lise Bjorke Monsen, “we also know that [pollutants] can have a negative effect on the immune system, the hormonal system and the metabolism. They are also transmitted by breastfeeding. The people most sensitive to these pollutants are therefore young children, adolescents and pregnant women, for whom the consumption of Norwegian farmed fish is now strongly discouraged.
Salmon from Norway is 60% of world production
Cited by Marie Claire, the scientist recalls that “if we need omega-3 from fish, mackerel and herring are very good.” Despite past warnings, the Norwegian government has therefore taken several years to admit the risk that its salmon presents. A little surprising delay when we know the economic windfall represented by fish for the country.
In 2012, Norway provided 60% of the world’s salmon production, which brings in more than 20 billion euros a year. In France, 80% of the salmon consumed is of Norwegian origin and the inhabitants of France consume 2.3 kg per person per year. However, since 2006 Russia has stopped importing Norwegian farmed salmon as a precautionary measure.