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Although it is very easy to label someone paranoid whenever a drastic choice, like stopping eating anything or how about stop eating meat altogether and becoming a vegan, eyes do tend to roll and a stigma appears on those who make such choices. I have lived by the pacific ocean more than 50% of my …   Read More

Although it is very easy to label someone paranoid whenever a drastic choice, like stopping eating anything or how about stop eating meat altogether and becoming a vegan, eyes do tend to roll and a stigma appears on those who make such choices. I have lived by the pacific ocean more than 50% of my life, as such I have been exposed by a variety of dishes which include sea foods, stemming from sea animals to sea plants. By enlarge I have been a sea food lover, even recently in the last year, I have always preferred a grilled salmon over a juicy steak. I wish, I could eat sea food in the way had, however there are now so many reasons why I hesitate, and rather I now think since there is doubt, I choose to not test my luck, but simply not partake in sea food consumption. Although, I am sure, it is also very easy to debunk 80% of the arguments for labeling sea food dangerous, I do choose to take the safe route and removing it from my food choices, after all, we will probably not die from not having sea food. I share three of my reasons to stopping eating sea food, because I am wishing to see what people think about them, perhaps some of you have better arguments for and against such decision, I am sure interested to hear them:

 Sea food has a high concentration of minerals

Now minerals per se are not harmful, higher than normal concentration of minerals are. Perhaps of all the possible minerals that a fish can carry in their flesh is mercury. Methylmercury embeds mostly in fish skin, however it can also live partly in flesh, mercury can lead to human kidney failure, exposure on pregnant women can lead to congenital mental development. DDT, a very toxic pesticide developed in the 1970s, it is now banned due to its high toxicity, exposure to DDT causes liver damage and diminishes immune defenses. DDT is also known for causing spontaneous abortions. Other compounds include PCBs and Dioxins both which stem from chemical reactions in factories with the capability of affecting multiple organs.

The genetically modified fish

Like all genetically modified organisms (GMOs), there is so much doubt and evidence suggesting to the dangers of this food approach. Initially created to save the world from imminent hunger. Decades after, evidence is surfacing GMOs could be responsible for things like cancer, autism, allergies and even the decline of bee colonies around the world. GMOs now include fish, and this is most worrying, because it used to be that only vegetables, seeds, fruits were being genetically modified, now we are talking about members of the animal kingdom. As it is the case with GMOs in North America, there is no motion to make labelling of this foods a norm, as it is the case with other parts of the world.

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The “frankenfish,” the worlds first genetically modified animal (background) and the atlantic fish (foreground).

Unfortunately, while people were worried about Christmas lists or Miley Cyrus wrecking ball, the U.S. government approved the motion to allow a corporation to produce the AquAdvantageAE Salmon, the world’s first genetically modified animal, opening the precedence to genetically modify other animals. The AquAdvantageAE Salmon or termed “Super Salmon” was approved for mass production last November 2013, just 3 months after the date on this article. The AquAdvantageAE fish, a mixed of an eel-like fish and a type of salmon, the proposal to create this “frankenfish” held the promise of addressing food shortages, most specifically over over-fishing, which is a serious concern, but due to a number of issues not really addressed by lawmakers.

The Fukushima disaster

Perhaps, the tipping point reason for me, is that the damaged caused by this world disaster is so vast, it will in no doubt affect the health of all oceans, but most precisely over the pacific ocean, the worlds’ largest ocean. As I have written in other posts, the Fukushima disaster is being way too under looked by the media and the damage it caused and continuous to cause is not properly discussed or alerted. The dumping of toxic materials has started since May 2011, not nearly 3 years after, the consequences only worsen as time passes. Nuclear compounds like cesium, stronium and tritium are among 3 of the most worrying ingredients that the dumping of radiacative materials. Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts had this to say about the radioactive materials present in the pacific ocean:

“Cesium is like salt—it goes in and out of your body quickly. Strontium gets into your bones. Strontium changes the equation for Japanese fisheries, as to when their fish will be safe to eat. If that gets into the food supply and in the fish, then it’s a much bigger hazard. I do have a concern.”

fukushimamap
This map is from a detailed simulation of the spread of Pacific ocean radiation, and shows the anticipated levels as of Aug. 2013. It looks scary, but the red color indicates that the levels of Cs137 from Fukushima are 10,000 times less than when released in March 2011, while the light blue indicates levels that are less than one-millionth.

The Fukushima disaster was different than the Chernobyl in that there was leakage in the ocean, unlike the spread of radiation through the air due to the Chernobyl incident. As the pacific ocean is the biggest body of water on Earth, we are dealing with a different animal, as the consequences are ever spreading every day. Let’s not forget that although we are talking about contamination in the pacific ocean, all oceans are connected. Sources:

  • http://oehha.ca.gov/fish/nor_cal/sfpilot.html
  • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130807-fukushima-radioactive-water-leak/
  • http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/10/fukushima-fish-still-hot.html
  • http://www.peta.org/living/food/toxins-fish/
  • http://www.theprovince.com/technology/super+salmon+first+food+approved+sale/9058401/story.html
  • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130807-fukushima-radioactive-water-leak/
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-the-ticking-nuclear-bomb-over-800-tons-of-radioactive-material-pouring-into-pacific-ocean/5356276
  • http://blog.safecast.org/2014/01/fukushima-across-the-pacific/
  • http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2013/10/despite-fukushima-scientists-say-eating-west-coast-fish-is-safe/
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