Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mercury Warnings Get Makeover

Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA, recently told the Associated Press that the government is planning an update to its guidelines about seafood consumption by pregnant women considering seafood mercury levels.  The subject of mercury levels in seafood still remains a hotly debated topic for both expecting mothers as well as the general public.  However, much of the data we reference today come from studies that occurred over 50 years ago in specific areas.

There is still much ignorance on the science behind the dangers of trace levels of mercury in seafood proteins, especially considering that there are often also traces of selenium in the same proteins.  Selenium has been proven to bind to mercury molecules, which enables the body to expel the harmful pollutants.  There is much hope within the seafood industry that the FDA's new advisory will bring updated, more science-based assessments of seafood to light, including the benefits of selenium, omega-3s, and vitamins found in seafood as well as the harmful effects that seafood deficiencies can have on developing children and adults alike.  

If you would like to read further on the matter you can click here.  I hope the forthcoming FDA announcement provides a more balanced view of seafood consumption and sheds light on a misunderstood and often over-dramatized issue.       

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