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Fish in Seine poisonous, study shows

Foeke Noppert

The fish in the Seine are not safe to eat, according to environment campaigners. Their flesh exceeds the European limit for the density of dioxins and pollutants, a study shows.


Fish examined in Paris's 12th arrondisement contained three to five times the legal amount of toxins. In Nanterre, 90 per cent of the fish are unsuitable for eating.

And in Gargenville, on the city's outskirts, the eels should be avoided, even by cats, as they contain eight times more toxins than is safe, according to a study by the French water board, Office National de l'Eau et des Milieux Aquatiques.

One of the worst compounds found in the flesh was PCBs, a type of cumulative micro-pollutant that can cause fertility problems and harm children’s immunity systems and their mental and motor functions.

They are a proven carcinogen in animals and probably in humans too.

Environmental campaigners Robin des bois (Robin Hood) sounded the alarm in a press release on Tuesday.

Fishing for human consumption was banned in 2005, as was the transport of living or dead fish in the Essone, which flows from the Seine. In 2008, eating, keeping, unloading, transporting, transfering and selling  fish caught in the Seine from the Eure-Yvelines was banned.

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