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Saturday, April 27, 2013
Antibiotics and Growth Hormones In Feed
Farmed fish and shellfish are often grown in overcrowded and dirty tanks or cages, alongside dead and decaying fish and fish waste. They are often treated with antibiotics so that they can withstand the harsh environment. Residues of these antibiotics travel with seafood from their tank to your table. Chloramphenicol, penicillin and other drugs used in production can pose serious health risks to consumers who may become susceptible to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For the many people with allergies to antibiotics, contaminated seafood can cause unexpected allergic reactions. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that clear scientific evidence indicates that the use of these drugs and chemicals in raising seafood can lead to an increased antimicrobial resistance in human pathogens (stronger germs that are resistant to our medicines) and that prolonged exposure to some of these chemicals has been shown to cause cancer.
In captivity, most fish do not reproduce successfully. Fish hatchery operators inject hormones into male and female fish so that they breed. Chorionic gonadotropin, a human hormone, can be injected into fish destined for human consumption. Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) can also be used to induce spawning, but while the offspring can go to market, the parent fish cannot. When humans use chorionic gonadotropin as a fertility drug (or for other uses), it can increase the risk of multiple pregnancy, premature puberty, and ovarian enlargement and cysts. The highest legal cumulative dose of chorionic gonadotropin in fish destined for human consumption is 25 ml. However, FDA does not test fish for residues of the hormone, nor does it take any other regulatory action to enforce this limit.