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Fish Good for Health, but Beware of Mercury

Posted - Mar. 19, 2004 at 2:20 p.m.



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WASHINGTON, March 19 (AFP) - The US government on Friday warned pregnant women, new mothers and children not to eat certain fish containing high levels of mercury, although they said eating fish in general promotes good health.

In a rare joint consumer advisory, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that "as a matter of prudence, women might wish to modify the amount and type of fish they consume if they are planning to become pregnant, pregnant, nursing or feeding a young child."

On the "do not eat" list were shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, "because they contain high levels of mercury."

Albacore white tuna contains more mercury than canned light tuna, said the advisory.

Shrimp, salmon and pollock are among fish with low mercury levels, it said.

Despite the warning, the FDA and EPA stressed the "benefits of eating fish, " which they called "important parts of a healthy and balanced diet."

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COPYRIGHT 2004 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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