UK: Ban Shark Oil in Supplements

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK

Health food crazes come and go and they are usually harmless, if pointless. The latest has a darker side – it is endangering sharks. Omega-3 oils may have some genuine health benefits, although almost certainly not as many as the hype suggests and these benefits usually come from eating them in a balanced diet, not through popping pills.

This doesn’t, however, stop people buying truckloads of the supplements, and the fish oil they contain comes from some very dubious sources. 

Oil from endangered deep sea shark species such as the goblin shark and the leafscale gulper is widely used in the omega-3 supplements sold in the UK with almost no restrictions.

As a result, the already threatened sharks are under more pressure than ever before. Tell the UK to ban the use of endangered species in health food supplements.

We the undersigned ask that you introduce legislation preventing the use of endangered species to produce “health food” supplements.

The recent popularity for omega-3 oils has led to a massive increase in the use of the livers from deep sea shark species, which are slow to reproduce and grow. As a result, populations of these already threatened species are under even more pressure.

This is not sustainable and not something that should be happening in a country where, for example, the use of tiger parts in a “medicine” would be met with immediate outrage and an almost as immediate ban.

We ask that you ban the use of shark oil in fish oil supplements as a matter of urgency.

Thank you for your attention.

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