Researchers have widely known for more than a decade that the pharmaceuticals we consume are inclined to turn up second hand in wildlife. Occasionally this can have dreadful results.

Chemical hormones in birth control pills, for example, pass into the urine and are set free through municipal sewage plants into the environment, where they can become powerful endocrine disruptors. These drugs change the reproductive physiology and behaviour of fish downstream, with effects comprising feminised or intersex males.

But so far, society’s response has mostly been a common disregard, because these are fish, not people. Why should we care? Attempts to perimeter drug contamination have mainly gone nowhere.

Fish counters in community supermarkets where 14 different types of fillets were bought.  They were then tested for the presence of various human pharmaceuticals, comprising the antihistamine found in drugs like Benadryl, and the anti-anxiety amalgam found in medications like Valium.

Eleven of 14 fish portions comprised raised levels of the two drugs.

Furthermore, the fish weren’t just freshwater varieties, such as catfish, or its Asian cousin swai, which might predictably pick up wastewater treatment byproducts in river environments. Saltwater fish, including mullet, cod, red snapper, ocean perch, bay scallops, mahimahi, Atlantic salmon, sole, and Spanish mackerel have been just as likely to be polluted.

So while eating fresh fish may well spur your levels of thriving omega-3 fatty acids, it also advises that it could as well mean unwittingly absorbing a cocktail of unintended drugs, not to mention mercury, PCBs, and other pollutants.

One baffling feature was that a great deal of fish examples came from Thailand, Vietnam, and China, countries that are well known for unlawful fishing, but not usually related to hefty pharmaceutical use.

However, prescription medication usage is quickly growing as those countries adopt the Western way of life. Numerous Asian countries have as well become general drug manufacturers, however, have hardly any, or no rules on what pharmaceutical manufacturers dump into the habitat.

The level of drugs established was comparatively tiny in human terms, because you are not going to handle your anxiety, or your runny nose by consuming fish. Even the biggest absorption recognised would still produce less than a thousandth of the normal therapeutic measure for either drug.

Unintentionally consuming many drugs with the same result could still present a health risk, and some medicines are dangerous if taken with each other. The anti-anxiety medication diazepam, for example, shouldn’t be incorporated with a lengthy catalogue of other prescription medication because it changes their potency.


The significant concern is for fish eating wildlife, because animals like cormorants and leopard seals. Their whole diet consists of fish.

The absorption of pharmaceuticals in any one meal is really small. However, as these animals dine on the same predator fish, and feed on them day after day, the contaminants accumulate in their bodies, and they weren’t designed to be eating any of these drugs.

A drug that is favourable in one species can have astounding and unforeseeable consequences in another. In India in the 1990s, for example, farmers began administering the drug diclofenac to alleviate arthritis symptoms in cattle. However, that drug causes fatal kidney failure in vultures, and because vultures forage on dead cattle, one of the biggest vulture populations in the world plunged 99 percent in just five years. Today, three vulture species are still flirting with extinction.

The effects of a single species can as well cascade through whole ecosystems. A short time ago, a human contraceptive by-product was added at typical levels in a tiny, remote lake. Because of the disruption to their procreative lives, fathead minnows, a common prey fish, disappeared inside of two years. After four years, slimy Sculpin, a further prey species, were down to 1 percent of their previous numbers.

Lake Trout. Salvelinus namaycush.
Lake Trout. Salvelinus namaycush.

The devastation worked its way up the food chain to lake trout, the crown predator, which decreased as much as 42 percent over a seven year study.

Removing drug residues from wastewater treatment plant waste is very costly, particularly for expanding countries that haven’t yet constructed even the most basic sewage treatment. However, in nearly every ecosystem, humans are at the summit of the food chain. What takes place in the plant and wildlife close by will eventually happen to us.


Consider that, and let your lawmakers know what you think the next time you step up to the seafood counter, or reach for a prescription medication.

Pharmaceutical companies have developed the vast number of medicines known to humankind, however, they have financially gained handsomely from doing so, and not at all times by legal methods.

The United States pay a good way more than anyone, anywhere else in the world for brand name prescription medications, and pharmaceutical companies spend a lot more money on experimentation, however, they pay out almost twice as much on marketing as they spend on research. They as well make more in financial gain, on average, as they spend on experimentation.

Making medication by pharmaceutical companies is not done with any empathy at all. There is a specific structured preparation when making drugs for ailing people. It’s an administration of parasites that don’t care how they make money, or what is seeping back into the environment, and it’s horrifying. Not only is it unpleasant, but people are unwilling to do anything about it.

It’s clear that medication is imperative, we would be stupid to believe otherwise, however, every new medication that comes out is costing billions of pounds to manufacture, however, they make more than that in revenue.

The conclusion, is that making medication is profit making, however, it still overflows back into the environment, there are no two ways about it, and they know that people that are sick require pharmaceutical companies.

Circumstances make the demand, and it has an effect on all of us at some time or another. We are the architect of our own design, and we are the motivating force that drives them along to make another medication for its profit making scheme.

We supply them with enough ammunition that sustains them, and we cultivate a thriving business – we make it possible.


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