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FDA urged to drop fish mercury level

Posted - Dec. 17, 2004 at 5:20 p.m.



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CHICAGO, Dec 17, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Researchers are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to lower the mercury level in commercial fish.

In a study on canned fish published in this month's Journal of Food Science, researchers called on the FDA to reduce the mercury allowable from 1,000 parts per billion to meet public health standards and ensure the safety of infants and developing fetuses.

Authors consider this reduction a way for women of child-bearing age who regularly eat substantially high amounts of canned tuna to benefit from its important omega-3 fatty acids and remain safe from exposing their babies to unhealthy mercury levels.

The study also recommends introduction of a "kid-safe" label for the variety of canned tuna shown to have very low mercury levels comparable to canned salmon and mackerel.

Also recommended was that pregnant or nursing women and children reduce their intake of canned white albacore tuna and eat more canned salmon and mackerel. Each is higher in the omega-3 fatty acids.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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