Stop Poisoning Farmed Fish With Antibiotics and Pesticides

Target: FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock

Goal: Crack down on the methods used in administering drugs in our fisheries.

Farm-raised fish accounts for well over 50% of all seafood consumed by humans, and the lack of regulations and oversight is appalling. The FDA has approved at least 16 drugs, including but not limited to antibiotics, pesticides, and anti-parasitics, for use in farm-raised fish intended for human consumption. Among these are antibiotics such as Amoxicillin. This, along with the fact that the FDA is fully aware of farmers’ use of unapproved drugs, raises many concerns in regards to public health.

Obviously, these drugs don’t stay confined in the tanks, which are emptied into nearby waterways and leach into the soil despite many farms claiming to have efficient filtration systems. This results in the harm and contamination of indigenous aquatic life, land-dwelling creatures, and our drinking water. Another equally critical fact is that administering the same antibiotics to our food sources as the ones that are used to treat both humans and domestic animals can cause germ resistance to build and therefore render these drugs ineffective.

There are more sustainable alternatives to the use of these drugs, but it will take stricter oversight by the FDA and other governing bodies to create and enforce these new procedures. This is not a far-fetched notion. If cattle and chicken farmers have been able to control disease without antibiotics, so can fisheries. With our rapidly increasing population comes a growing demand for a higher volume of food which calls for more and larger fish farms which, at the rate we’re going, will increase the already alarming levels of contamination of our water, land, and food. It’s time to do the right thing and get a grasp on this situation before the damage becomes even more dire.


Dear Commissioner Woodcock,

Our nation’s fisheries are being poisoned with antibiotics, pesticides, and anti-parasitics, which, in turn, are contaminating our food and water supply. We demand tougher regulations on the amounts and types of drugs administered in these aquafarms, and a push to phase out their usage completely in as many farms as possible. An incentivized system for creating a more sustainable farming structure needs to be put in place, and a more thorough system of monitoring needs to be enacted immediately.

One focus of the monitoring needs to be the use of unapproved drugs, which should be forbidden and punishable by law. Another issue to be addressed is raising the standards of the filtration systems and drainage/leakage protocols. Finally, the amounts of approved products used at each establishment need to be documented, analyzed, and eventually reduced drastically or even eradicated completely. 

If livestock farmers have been able to thrive with an environmentally friendly, pesticide-free, and antibiotic-free business model, I’m sure the fish farmers are able to do the same. The implementation of these new standards has to start at the top, beginning with the FDA. Please take action now and reign in the careless and irresponsible practices of this industry.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Narek75

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