FDA has released a draft advisory containing revised recommendations regarding fish and shellfish consumption for people at risk from exposure to the high methylmercury levels found in certain fish varieties.
The United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Advisory Committee (FAC) met on December 10-11, 2003 for an update regarding the recommendations made during the July 2002 FAC regarding fish consumption and methylmercury. The revisions have resulted in the first unified FDA and EPA revised advisory concerning all fish and shellfish consumption for populations at risk from exposure to high mercury levels: pregnant women, nursing mothers, women who may become pregnant, and young children.
In July 2002, FDA’s Food Advisory Committee met and made several recommendations to FDA on how to revise its consumer advisory on methylmercury in fish with special concern for pregnant women, nursing mothers, women who may become pregnant, and young children. One of these was for FDA and EPA to coordinate mercury advisories on commercial fish and recreational fish. Additionally, they recommended that the issue of tuna consumption be addressed.
This advisory is directed to pregnant women, nursing mothers, women who may become pregnant, and parents of young children. This is because the nervous system of the developing fetus and of young children is most at risk from high methylmercury levels in fish.
Committee recommendations are not binding but are carefully considered by the FDA. FDA‘s current consumer advisory can be viewed online at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/admehg.html.
Overview of Draft Advisory