Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Report Shows Some 'Wild' Salmon May Actually Come From Fish Farms

June 29, 2006 -- Attention fish shoppers: Some "wild" salmon may actually come from a farm.

Consumer Reports dishes up the fish fraud in its August issue.

Stores aren't required by law to label their salmon as "wild" or "farm-raised," but if they use those labels, they're supposed to be accurate, the magazine notes.

For its test, Consumer Reports bought salmon fillets from unnamed stores several times over a year and had the fish tested for synthetic coloring agents. "Without coloring, farmed salmon would be gray," the magazine explains.

"Wild" salmon bought during summertime -- the high season for wild-caught salmon -- passed the test.

But of the 23 wild-labeled salmon fillets bought during November, December, and March, "only 10… were definitely caught in the wild. The rest came from salmon farms," states Consumer Reports.

All of the salmon claimed to come from a fish farm truly was farm-raised, according to the magazine.

Consumer Reports' staff also bought two "organic" salmon fillets containing no mention of whether they came from a farm or the wild. Both were farm-raised. There are no federal standards for organic fish, the magazine points out.

Cost and Health

Salmon labeled "wild" is usually more expensive than that sold as "farm-raised." Consumer Reports paid nearly $13 per pound for wild salmon, nearly double the average price that correctly-labeled farm-raised salmon cost.

Salmon from fish farms may be more likely to contain contaminants such as dioxins and PCBs, notes Consumer Reports. However, the magazine didn't test any of the salmon -- wild or farm-raised -- for toxins.

The magazine offers this advice to salmon shoppers:

  • Go wild in summer. The Alaskan salmon season starts in May and ends in September. "That's when fresh wild salmon is most abundant and, judging by our tests, most likely to be truthfully labeled," states Consumer Reports.
  • Look for canned Alaskan salmon. Alaska doesn't allow salmon farming.
  • Buy farmed Atlantic salmon from the U.S., Canada, or Chile. "It's likely to have lower levels of PCBs and dioxins than salmon from Europe," notes Consumer Reports.
  • Consider taste. "Our expert salmon tasters noted that wild salmon has a stronger flavor and firmer flesh than farmed," says Consumer Reports.

If you want omega-3 fatty acids -- which are abundant in salmon -- for health reasons such as avoiding heart diseaseheart disease, you have other options, including fish-oil pills, flaxseed, and walnuts, the magazine also notes.

WebMD Health News

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Healthy Recipe Finder