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Sharkfin soup: a serious health risk

Sharkfins contain heavy metals. That makes sharkfin soup a very unhealthy treat. The consumption of sharkfin soup is however increasing. Why?

In the last decade, the Chinese economy has grown immense. The higher and middle class have a much higher standard of living and show off their prosperty by buying luxury items. Sharkfin soup is served a special occasions like weddings. Recently, sharkfin soup was removed from the menu of official banquets. A giant step ahead!

Would it make a difference, if more Chinese people would realise that sharkfin soup is very bad for their health?

Professor Mahmood Shivji of the Guy Harvey Research Institute in Florida  and his research team have discovered, that shark fins contain high levels of the neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, in short BMAA. Seven species of sharks from the coastal waters of Southern Florida were analysed with High Performance Liquid Chromatography and fluorescence detection. The results show high concentrations of BMAA in all examined shark species, mainly in the fins, kidneys and liver.

Some organizations, like WildAid, have tried to get this message across. Let’s hope more people will learn about these facts in 2013!

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