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It is the first time that the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration have issued advice on the minimum amount of fish that pregnant women and children should eat.
The previous advisory, issued in 2004, included only maximum amounts to protect their fetuses and young children from mercury, which can harm developing brains and reduce IQs.
As in the old recommendations, pregnant and nursing women and young children are advised to avoid four high-mercury fish: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel.
The agencies also reiterated their specific recommendations for limits on albacore (or white) tuna: no more than 6 ounces a week.
However, Americans consume about three times as much of the light variety.
Therefore, each variety – 'white' and 'light' – contributes a staggering 16 percent of Americans' dietary exposure.” Representatives of the fish industry lauded the new advice, saying it “clears the water on outdated seafood guidance for pregnant and breastfeeding women.” “FDA is working to translate years of important nutrition science into updated advice, and that’s exciting,” said Jennifer Mc Guire of the National Fisheries Institute, which represents seafood companies including Gorton’s Inc and Bumble Bee Foods.
Advice about consumption of tuna has been highly controversial, with the fishing industry criticizing any limits and health advocacy groups pushing for the FDA and EPA to add it to the list of fish to avoid.
“We will continue to look at levels of methylmercury in a variety of fish and in the future make recommendations about other fish as well,” he said.Orange roughy and marlin also have slightly higher concentrations than most fish, added Elizabeth Southerland, EPA’s director of the Office of Science and Technology.She said the agencies are asking the public to comment on whether those fish should be added to the list of fish to avoid.A resident is a person who has lived in Arizona for six months.Active-duty military members are considered residents. All Arizona residents age 10 or older must have a resident hunting license.