NYT – Europeans, who have been avoiding beef since the rampant spread of Mad Cow Disease there, have now been told it is unsafe to eat fish. Scientists there warn that unacceptablyhigh levels of industrial chemicals have been found in the region?s seafood. Johan Reyniers, of the European Union,said it was safe to eat fish in moderation, but “if you eatfish every day, you are likely to have a problem.”

The Scientific Committee for food reports that fish from fish farms, as well as fish caught from the ocean, are contaminated by dioxins, which have been linked to hormonal changes and cancer. The most polluted fishing areas are the North Sea and the Baltic around Scandinavia.

European countries are trying to negotiate laws that will ban high levels of dioxin, leading eventually to safer seafood. Dioxins are absorbed by the fatty tissues of animals, then are consumed by humans in fish, meat and milk products.

According to the new report, fish meal and fish oils from Europe have dioxin levels up to 8 times higher than similar products from less industrialized countries like Peru andChile. Fish meal is used in the diets of farmed fish, as well as chickens and pigs.

Europeans could shop in health food stores for tofu, like vegetarians are doing here in the U.S., but we?ve been told by Ben Lilliston, author of “Genetically Engineered Food,” that most soy is genetically engineered, so that?s no solution. Besides, we doubt that tofu would satisfy the European palate for long.

Source: The New York Times, Dec. 17, 2000

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