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Should Farmed Salmon Contaminant Levels Concern?

Media reports of a scientific comparative study on contaminant levels in farmed salmon compared with wild salmon should not alarm or be of concern to consumers of NZ King Salmon products.

The study, published yesterday in the American Journal Science, found higher levels of PCBs and dioxins in farmed salmon particularly in Europe compared to North and South American famed salmon and more significantly so, compared to wild salmon.

Despite those differences, even the highest level of contaminants were significantly below guidelines set by regulatory authorities in Europe and the USA.

NZ’s production of farmed salmon has extremely low levels of contaminants said Paul Steere, Chief Executive of The NZ King Salmon Co Limited.

“Our feed components come from South America waters, renown for the low end of containments, and we do not use chemicals, vaccines or antibiotics to grow healthy, nutritious and absolutely safe salmon for everyday consumption.

“Independent tests carried out on our feed and on our salmon fillets as recently as last October confirmed the very low level of PCBs and Dioxins – significantly below EU and FDA limits,” Paul Steere said.

“An average level of 32.8 parts per billion was found for the 12 dioxin-like types of PCBs tested in our fillets – this compares with the limit of 2000 (two thousand) parts per billion recommended by the FDA and 2000-3000 parts per billion recommended by the EU . Similarly we monitor for mercury and heavy metals where tests last July showed mercury was less than one tenth the ANZFA limit; arsenic less than one fortieth the ANZFA limit, and lead much less than one fifth the ANZFA limit.

“We are a small player on the world farming scene. Our production of 5,000 tonnes compares to the 1.4million tonnes farmed globally. To compete in our discerning and highly competitive export markets such as Japan and the USA, our premium quality and food safe attributes has to be relied on and we carefully monitor and protect the healthy and natural properties we enjoy from our husbandry in the Marlborough Sounds environment,” said Paul Steere.

“All our consumers can enjoy NZ King Salmon confidently - knowing its absolutely safe, is nutritious with its high Omega 3 and Omega 6 content, is tasty, easy to serve and versatile in presentation while excellent value for dietary needs.

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