Dear Whole Foods
Thank you for sending your Quality Standards - did you know your farm salmon toxin - standards are 7 times higher than considered safe by the WHO?
According to your Jan. 1, 2013 Quality Standards that you sent to me - Whole Foods only requires farmed salmon producers to show they are making “progress toward meeting maximum allowable contaminate levels” for PCBs, dioxins, furans, dioxin-like PCBs and mercury in their product. This means your customers don’t actually know the levels of dangerous toxins present in Norwegian farmed salmon from Whole Foods. Download WFM Quality Standards for Farmed Seafood_salmon finfish shrimp_ Jan 1 2013.V2_0-1.pdf (341.5K)
Compared to international, current dietary recommendations for fatty fish, your limit of 2.16 pg/g for dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in farmed salmon is not safe at all according to the World Health Organization that established in 1998 a goal to reduce human intake levels below 1 pg TEQ/kg body weight/day (http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/en/exe-sum-final.pdf">source:). (TEQ means Toxic Equivalent Unit)
According to your Jan. 1. 2013 quality standards for farmed salmon, when a 60 kg person eats a single 200 gram serving of Norwegian farmed salmon from Whole Foods their body may receive 432 pg of toxins (2.16 pg x 200 grams). This is more than 7-times the daily safe intake levels established by the WHO and over 3.5-times the tolerable levels established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFTA) (2 pg/kg body weight/day and 14 pg/kg body weight/ week. Source:).
If your customer is a girl or woman, she will store the chemicals received each time she tucks into farmed Norwegian salmon from Whole Foods and then release up to 94% of them to her babies during pregnancy and lactation. Dioxins and PCB toxins are well known to interfere with brain development, the hooking up of brain cells essential to being able to think, cause cognitive (reasoning ability) impairment in children and adults, and are known carcinogens according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (Source: The Lancet Oncology, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 287 - 288, April 2013).
Current research indicates that babies from mothers that consume high levels of PCBs will be at higher risk of autism, ADD, reduced brain size, all the while your customers think that shopping at Whole Foods is protecting their family from doses of toxins like this.
Why does Whole Foods ask the salmon farming industry to work towards meeting requirements that are not safe for babies? Did you not know that your limits are 7 times higher than the World Health Organization recommends? Or did you think your customers were never going to find out? I don't know which is worse.
I was one of your customers, but I no longer have confidence in any of your products. Personally, I feel it is unforgivable to threaten babies with life-long disabilities to make a profit selling food.
Please explain why you sell farmed salmon that only has to show “progress” towards meeting toxin levels that are 7 times higher than recommended by the WHO.
Alexandra Morton, ex-Whole Foods customer