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Tis the time of year to fire up that barbecue. But before you toss that salmon filet on, ask yourself is it farmed or wild? Farmed fish contain significantly higher levels of toxic chemicals than wild salmon, according to a large study in the journal SCIENCE, January 8, 2004

Tis the time of year to fire up that barbecue. But before you toss that salmon filet on, ask yourself is it farmed or wild? Farmed fish contain significantly higher levels of toxic chemicals than wild salmon, according to a large study in the journal SCIENCE, January 8, 2004.

Researchers tested about two tons of farmed and wild salmon, and salmon feed from fish farms in major cities in the Americas and Europe. They discovered potentially dangerous levels of chemicals such as PCBs and dioxins, exposure to which can increase the risk of developing cancer and contribute to reproductive and hormonal problems.

"While European farmed fish are worse, Canadian farmed salmon are still a potential health risk," said Otto Langer, Director of Marine Conservation for the David Suzuki Foundation (davidsuzuki.org).

The Science report suggests only one meal per month of BC farmed salmon. Children and expectant mothers are advised to eat less. Farmed salmon is rarely labeled as such in stores and many canned and packaged fish items are made of farmed fish, so be sure to double-check the quality.

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