Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is This Fish Happy or Toxic?

Thank you to Anon who sent us a clip to this interesting article in the Montreal Gazette about all the fish in the St. Lawrence River who are being exposed to anti-depressants though human waste.

William Marsden writes in "Antidepressants Found in Fish":

"It's very hard," Sauve said. "The question itself is quite interesting. You can't ask a fish whether it is happier or not. One of things they can do is use cameras to look at the male behaviour. Will it have the same behaviour in mating or feeding? Then you have to go back and look at its normal behaviour. It's quite tedious work and difficult."

Quebecers purchase about 555 million antidepressants a year. That works out to about one in four Quebecers taking one pill a day. That does not include the amount prescribed by psychiatric hospitals.

Hmm... I'm not sure what to say. Should we be more alarmed about what the meds are doing to the fish (and just how happy should a fish be?) or the idea that Quebecers average a one in four rate of taking anti-depressants?


Sarebear said...

Some people flush their excess medications down the toilet, making the problem worse. This is something I heard in a news story that was sort of similar, about anti-depressants in the water system some time back.

I'm just grossed out that so much waste is ending up in the environment, although maybe this is post-waste-treatment-plant water, and the Prozac et. al can't be filtered out . . .

HappyOrganist said...

wow that's a lot

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed the article. It was too timely;could not resist. Thought: docs tell patients to eat fish for the Omega 3 benefits. Some believe there is a positive effect on mood. Maybe the antidepressants and not the Omega 3 are what is having an impact? Okay,not being serious. Some pretty good fish in Montreal but if you go, get the smoked meat. The chemicals will kill you and no, Moviedoc, before you say it, no one ever, ever asked their smoked meat purveyor about the side effects.

tracy said...
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tracy said...
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