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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 17:07 GMT
Food safety call over salmon row
Farmed salmon
Scotland's farmed salmon industry has come under fresh scrutiny
The Scottish National Party is urging supermarket chains to set up food information points in the wake of the farmed salmon health scare.

US scientists claimed eating too much farmed fish poses cancer risks - but this was rejected by industry leaders and the Food Standards Agency.

The European Commission said farmed salmon in Scotland was safe to eat following last week's report.

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead said consumers needed better information.

The study, published in the journal Science, said people should eat no more than two ounces of Scottish farmed salmon each month.

It linked toxins found in farmed salmon to cancer.

It is vital that fresh steps are taken to ensure that up to date and accurate food safety and healthy eating advice is made available to shoppers
Richard Lochhead
SNP fisheries spokesman
The researchers looked at more than two metric tonnes of fish bought in shops in North America, South America and Europe.

But EC spokeswoman Beate Gminder said the recommended limits were satisfactory.

She said things like consumption levels were taken into account when setting maximum daily levels for dioxins.

The commission believed that the limits, which had been based on scientific advice, were "accurate and valid".

The FSA urged people to keep eating salmon despite the findings, which were dismissed as "misleading" by the salmon industry.

'More fish'

Scottish Quality Salmon (SQS) - which represents 65% of production in the country - rejected the study's claims.

Mr Lochhead said the scare highlighted the need for shoppers to have access to accurate food safety and healthy eating information.

The SNP's fisheries spokesman said: "The unfortunate irony of this recent episode is that at a time when Scotland's appalling diet is in the spotlight and the FSA is advising the public to eat two portions of fish per week, there is a great deal of scaremongering about farmed salmon.

"The reality is that Scots should be eating a lot more fish not less.

"It is therefore vital that fresh steps are taken to ensure that up-to-date and accurate food safety and healthy eating advice is made available to shoppers at an appropriate location and one of the best places to do that is in the supermarket."

The MSP urged Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm to support the move.

Euro backing for Scottish salmon
12 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Salmon health scare 'ignored'
12 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Industry defends Scottish salmon
09 Jan 04  |  Scotland

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