Monday, January 26, 2009

So is fish safe to eat or not?

The current official advice from the Food and Drug Administration and the EPA is that pregnant and nursing women and young children can safely eat up to 12 ounces — roughly two servings — of most fish a week, but should limit their intake of albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week and avoid entirely four species of fish containing high levels of mercury.

But the two agencies are at loggerheads over the two-serving limit. The FDA has circulated a draft report suggesting that the vast majority of fetuses and infants would actually benefit if their mothers ate more than two servings of fish a week because fish contain highly beneficial nutrients that aid in brain development. The FDA’s scientists argue that those benefits outweigh any potential harm.

Have mercury warnings gone too far in driving women away from a potentially beneficial food source? Meanwhile, experts caution that consumers should choose from fish that are low in mercury, such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.

Source: Inland Seas Angler Great Lakes Basin Report

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