Fish Brains in Great Lakes Region Saturated With Antidepressants

antidepressants fishBy Heather CallaghanEditor

Recent findings from researchers of the University at Buffalo discovered concentrations of antidepressants meant for humans in 10 different kinds of fish in the Niagara River. That is the river that links Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Active ingredients in Zoloft, Prozac and other antidepressants had built up “in the brains of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rudd, rock bass, white bass, white perch, walleye, bowfin, steelhead and yellow perch,” reports NY Daily News.

The source of their unwitting druggings?

What else – wastewater!

Diana Aga, Ph.D, a professor at the University at Buffalo, stated:

These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains…

It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned.

She is concerned that it will affect fish behavior noting that other studies have shown changes in feeding behavior of fish or their survival instinct. Scientists are claiming that these amounts don’t pose a threat to humans who eat them but they also admit that they need to do more research to know “what amount” will affect humans.

I’ve written about the problems of repurposing wastewater before. Because it’s not just run0ff from the treatment plants – the water is then repurposed for agriculture. While this practice may earn some companies brownie points for not using up fresh water – it is actually anything but environmentally friendly. When used on crops, toxicants can uptake in to the plants. Indeed, those of us eating the produce can be dosed with bipolar drugs and more. As I’ve said, this is the reason to buy organic, sad it as it may be.

Treatment plants are simply not keeping up with socio-cultural changes such as the proliferation of prescription drug use and its presence in human waste. I’m not just saying drug use is exploding because the media says so – between the years of 1999-2002 and 2011-14 the use of antidepressants rose 65 percent (National Center for Health Statistics). It isn’t getting filtered out.

While the media is bemused with their jokes of fish who need “happy pills” it’s really disconcerting if you think about it. Both for you, for the fish, the environment and the future of our ecology.


If you or anyone you know is considering an antidepressant, please first go to Antidepressants can lead to suicidal/homicidal thoughts and actions. While it’s a person’s choice to take them, the drugs should stay far out of the public arena. But sadly, wastewater is a main reason that animals and humans can be dosed with drugs without their knowledge, right through their food.

Something needs to change to keep people from being drugged without their knowledge which violates informed consent, especially given the dangerous side effects of antidepressants. In the meantime, eating lower on the food chain and choosing organic are a couple of ways to avoid consuming antidepressant and bipolar medicine run-off.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 favorite-velva-smallHeather Callaghan is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and food freedom activist. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.

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