UPDATED: The Directorate of Health have issued new guidelines on fish consumption in the wake of toxicity level concerns in certain types of farmed fish.
Two medical personnel sent gasps through the fish industry last week warning about Persistant Organic Pollutants (POPs) accumulating in fat-rich farmed fish such as salmon.
“These types of contaminants that have been detected in farmed salmon have a negative effect on brain development and are associated with autism, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and reduced IQ. We also know that they can affect other organ systems in the body such as the immune system and metabolism,” Anne-Lise Bjørke Monsen, specialist at Bergen’s Haukeland University Hospital, said to VG.
Directorate officials now advise that young women and women who are pregnant should eat two to three fish meals a week, with just half being of the fat-rich variety.
“We now we see that there is a need for clarification when it comes to pregnant and young women. We see that our advice may create uncertainty, and we want to be as clear as possible”, acting Health Director Knut-Inge Klepp told Klassekampen.
Mr Klepp wants the fish farming industry to clarify their advice to the government on how much fish they recommend is eaten.
The new advice also includes warnings not to eat fish caught from around 30 different fjords and lakes due to pollution.
Aftenposten reported last week Norwegian authorities are currently considering implementing EU legislation allowing considerably increased levels of endosulfan in farmed salmon’s vegetable-based food.
A Norwegian National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) study has shown it affects salmon less if in food compared to whether it is absorbed through water, however.
Endosulfan in the food was banned previously, but the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded the fish can tolerate up to 0.1 milligrams of endosulfan per kilo without any detrimental effect as long as it is kept in netted pens.
Norway’s Food Safety Authority writes the permitted substance amount “is of great economic importance to the aquaculture industry in both the short and long-term.”
Meanwhile, the US Environmental Protection Agency classifies endosulfan is a plant insecticide and acaricide “registered for use on a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, cereal grains, and cotton, as well as ornamental shrubs, trees, and vines.”
As of November 2010, the EPA started taking action to end its use “because it can pose unacceptable health risks to farmworkers and wildlife and can persist in the environment.”
Considerable quantities of fish food are imported from South America, which so far has no ban on endosulfan.