Feds Issue New Fish Consumption Guidelines

Today the U.S. EPA and the Food and Drug Administration issued an official set of guidelines on eating fish, which attempts to balance the risks of mercury to children with the broader health benefits of seafood. Mercury can adversely affect children’s mental development, so pregnant (or soon-to-be-pregnant) women and kids should avoid eating more that 6 ounces — roughly one meal’s worth — of albacore tuna a week. They should also avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. However, the guidelines emphasize that seafood contains healthy proteins and nutrients and that shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish can play an important role in a balanced diet. Grist editors were going to come up with a snappy mnemonic device to help readers keep all of this straight, but, as it turns out, we’re not that clever.