If you are serving your family frozen salmon from a “big box” supermarket, you might be exposing them to deadly antibiotic-resistant super bacteria.
The cheap frozen salmon sold at most American supermarkets and big-box stores is not raised naturally. Instead, it is raised in giant farms in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile. Chile’s aquaculture farms are the source of most of America’s salmon.
Those salmon farms are a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria; such as E.coli, Oceana reported. The salmon are fed vast amounts of antibiotics to keep them “healthy;” and raised in filthy water that is filled with feces, dead fish, and uneaten food. Other deadly chemicals including pesticides are dumped into the water to keep the fish looking healthy.
“Densely packed fish swim in a snowstorm of antibiotics, uneaten feed, feces and de-lousing chemicals,” Oceana’s Allison Guy wrote. “It’s a perfect recipe for brewing up drug-resistant bacteria.”
Breeding Super Bacteria In Frozen Salmon
“Conditions on these farms favor the selection of genetic mutations that protect bacteria from antibiotics,” Guy wrote. “Bacteria that win the mutation lottery can then divide and spread unchecked, in a microscopic version of survival of the fittest.”
The bacteria found in the waters at the fish farms include Ebola. Many of the salmon are infected with bacteria such as piscirickettsiosis. Instead of cleaning up the farms, the farmers simply dump more antibiotics so they can raise more salmon.
The antibiotic-resistant superbugs can spread to other fish in the ocean through a process called horizontal gene transfer. During that process, DNA spreads to other kinds of bacteria that affect fish in the wild. Those fish can be caught by fishermen and sold in your supermarket.
“Horizontal gene transfer can spread antibiotic-resistant genes to bacteria that can infect humans. The transfer can occur in a person’s intestinal tract,” Felipe Cabello an expert on antimicrobial resistance in marine environments at New York Medical College, told Oceana.
That means a person can develop antibiotic infection by simply eating or just handling the salmon, Cabello said. That can lead to outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria including E.coli.
Bacteria resistant to Florfenicol, the most popular antibiotic on Chilean salmon farms, are also resistant to the powerful drugs of last resort doctors use to treat antibiotic-resistant infections in people. That means doctors might have no means of treating such an infection.
Protecting Your Family From Disease Resistant Antibiotic Bacteria In Frozen Salmon
The obvious way to protect your family is to not eat or serve frozen salmon. If you want to buy salmon, purchase fresh wild-caught salmon from the butcher counter at your supermarket.
There are two major national grocers; Target and Whole Foods, that refuse to sell Chilean salmon. Target even refuses to sell any farmed salmon and Whole Foods sells farmed salmon from Europe – where fewer antibiotics are used.
Checking the country of origin can offer some protection. Farm-raised salmon from Norway is safer than the Chilean Salmon because aquaculture in that country uses less than a tenth of the antibiotics used in Chile.
A good rule of thumb is not to buy any fish that does not list the country of origin. Avoiding cheaply priced frozen fish is an excellent idea because much of it comes from Big Aquaculture.
The best way to give your family a safe source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids not contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria is to raise your own fish. Building a fish pond on your property is a great way to give your family an Off-the-Grid source of safe, natural protein.
Another salmon problem is the development of GMO “Frankin-Fish.” This issue too is worthy of concern.
Understanding where your food comes from can play a big role in protecting your family from antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other potential food dangers.