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Two Environmental Groups to Sue Farmed Salmon Industry

SAN FRANCISCO - The Environmental Working Group and the Center for Environmental Health filed notice last week of their intent to sue 50 salmon farms, fish processors and grocery chains under a California anti-toxics law, The Associated Press reports. The groups claim that the industry failed to warn consumers that the fish contain what they say are potentially dangerous levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

"Our goal is to challenge them to change their practices so their fish is safe to eat," said Michael Green, executive director for the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health.

Grocery chains named in the suit include Safeway Inc., Kroger Co., Albertsons Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp.

The potential lawsuit follows a major study recently published in the journal "Science," which suggested that farm-raised salmon contains significantly more contaminants than salmon caught in the wild because of PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, in feed. It recommended that farmers change fish feed and urged consumers to buy wild salmon.

The farmed salmon industry disputes the conclusions, citing experts who say the benefits outweigh the risks of eating farmed salmon.

Under Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, companies are required to notify consumers if their products contain hazardous levels of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.
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