MEDIA WATCH: Salmon study gets panned for method

The largest study ever on farmed salmon, which are raised in captivity in the oceans, indicated that the fish contain a number of toxins and pesticides and may be unsafe to eat. The Pew-funded study recommended eating farmed salmon no more than once a month, but media coverage focused on the study's methodology, which used stringent EPA guidelines. The FDA deemed the levels safe, called the study flawed, and recommended the public not alter its eating habits.

The largest study ever on farmed salmon, which are raised in captivity in the oceans, indicated that the fish contain a number of toxins and pesticides and may be unsafe to eat. The Pew-funded study recommended eating farmed salmon no more than once a month, but media coverage focused on the study's methodology, which used stringent EPA guidelines. The FDA deemed the levels safe, called the study flawed, and recommended the public not alter its eating habits.

Most frequent messages: 1. Study suggests the public should eat farmed salmon no more than once per month 2. Salmon is healthy. It has omega-3 fatty acids to fight heart disease 3. The public shouldn't change its eating habits as a result of this study 4. The benefits of eating salmon still outweigh the risks 5. Reporting highlights how study's methodology used EPA rather than FDA standards Based on 36 US newspaper, magazine, newswire, TV, and radio stories appearing January 7-12, 2004. Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International.

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