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Purdue food expert: Benefits of farmed salmon outweigh risks

The health benefits of eating salmon outweigh the risks named in a study published this week in the journal Science, says a Purdue University nutritionist and toxicologist.

Charles Santerre, associate professor of foods, nutrition and food science, has done extensive research on contaminants in fish. He says he agrees with the overall findings of the study, titled "Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon" to be published in Friday's (1/9) edition of "Science" and Thursday's (1/8) "Science Express" on the World Wide Web. But the Purdue researcher says he disagrees with the study's conclusion that consumers should limit their intake of farmed salmon due to an increased risk of cancer from contaminants in the fish.

"The study demonstrates that farmed salmon is very low in contaminants and meets or exceeds standards established by the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization," Santerre says. "The study also shows that the cancer risk from eating large amounts of salmon is significantly lower than the risk of developing heart disease from not eating generous amounts of the fish."

Santerre recommends farm-raised or wild salmon for pregnant and nursing mothers as an ideal source of nutrients for a developing fetus and infant. He also says salmon is one of the safest fish on the market. He is available to discuss this and other information related to the health benefits and risks of fish consumption.

CONTACT: Santerre, (765) 496-3443, santerre@cfs.purdue.edu

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Purdue University food and nutrition expert Charles Santerre's conclusions are based on the findings of the "Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon" to be published online Thursday (1/8). Santerre's review of the study can be found online after 2 p.m., Thursday (1/8) .

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