Contaminants in farmed Atlantic and wild Pacific salmon raise important questions about the competing health benefits and risks of fish consumption. A benefit-risk analysis was conducted to compare quantitatively the cancer and noncancer risks of exposure to organic contaminants in salmon with the (n-3) fatty acid-associated health benefits of salmon consumption. Recommended levels of (n-3) fatty acid intake, as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may be achieved by consuming farmed or wild salmon while maintaining an acceptable level of noncarcinogenic risk. However, the recommended level of EPA+DHA intake cannot be achieved solely from farmed or wild salmon while maintaining an acceptable level of carcinogenic risk. Although the benefit-risk ratio for carcinogens and noncarcinogens is significantly greater for wild Pacific salmon than for farmed Atlantic salmon as a group, the ratio for some subgroups of farmed salmon is on par with the ratio for wild salmon. This analysis suggests that risk of exposure to contaminants in farmed and wild salmon is partially offset by the fatty acid-associated health benefits. However, young children, women of child-bearing age, pregnant women, and nursing mothers not at significant risk for sudden cardiac death associated with CHD but concerned with health impairments such as reduction in IQ and other cognitive and behavioral effects, can minimize contaminant exposure by choosing the least contaminated wild salmon or by selecting other sources of (n-3) fatty acids.