Home > Health > The Use Of Antibiotics And Hormones In Farmed Salmon: Facts Not Fiction

The Use Of Antibiotics And Hormones In Farmed Salmon: Facts Not Fiction

April 29th, 2009

Many people have long carried the flag branding aquaculture with negative labels. They state that farmers boost and improve the production on their farms by injecting antibiotics, hormones, and other growth boosting chemicals into their salmon. Facts they present are skewed, and in many instances, just plain wrong. Just like raising any other type of animal, medications are sometimes needed. However, they are only used when it is absolutely necessary.


It is not uncommon for meats of all kinds to include a higher level of hormones. Many of these are added to the meat during the production process. However, this isn’t the case with farmed salmon; facts released to the contrary are completely false. In fact, hormones are not used at all in aquaculture. This means that salmon is one of the healthiest meats you can consume in addition to supplying your body with the essential fatty acids it needs to maintain a high level of health.

Antibiotics And Medications

A popular myth in many circles is that farmers use antibiotics and medications to boost stock numbers as well as the size of salmon. Facts presented by many groups indicate this was a common practice. In a way, this is true, but not the way it is being made out to be.

Medications such as antibiotics are used on farms, but only to treat fish that have become ill. This does improve production numbers and quality because fewer individuals die. They also lose less weight because they are not sick for long periods. This is not unlike anything you would do for any other animal, pet, or even a family member. Organic farms and many others do not administer drugs at any time.

The Administration Process Of Drugs

While rules surrounding the use of antibiotics do change depending on the country of origin, they are never neglected or misused. In Norway, for example, the use of antibiotics is not allowed at all. In Canada, they are only allowed in extreme circumstances. Even then, a veterinarian must submit a request to the government outlining the circumstances under which it is being used. If it is approved, the vet is only given a small amount to use.

In the United States, antibiotics are only used when necessary. Once a veterinarian feels it is required, he or she is present while the drugs are being administered. All farmers have to follow the rules and regulations set out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This includes staying within acceptable levels.

For those involved in the production of salmon, facts about the health of their stocks as well as the health of consumers is a top priority. They ensure farmers operate in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible. They also want to make sure consumers get a quality, great-tasting product that is nothing but 100% good for them. In an effort to achieve this, those involved in aquaculture will continue to study and research options in order to keep on the cutting edge of the industry.

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