EFSA: EFSA provides risk assessment on mercury in fish: Precautionary advice given to vulnerable groups
The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) published today an opinion regarding the possible risks to human health associated with the consumption of foods contaminated with mercury. Mercury is present as an environmental contaminant in foods, notably in fish and seafood principally in the form of methylmercury. While exposure to methylmercury varies by country, intake estimates for European consumers are close to internationally established safe intake limits. The Panel advises that further dietary studies be conducted among vulnerable population groups, including children and women of childbearing age, where specific intake data are lacking. Taking into account the important nutritional contribution that fish makes to the diet, EFSA recommends that vulnerable groups in particular select fish from a wide range of species without giving undue preference to large predatory fish likely to contain higher levels of methylmercury, such as swordfish and tuna. Additional guidance regarding the types of fish most suited to consumers’ diets is provided by national food safety authorities in Member States.