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WASHINGTON - In an effort to educate consumers about how fish can be incorporated as an important part of a healthful diet, the Food Marketing Institute has produced a new brochure, "Mercury and Fish."
The publication, which was developed in cooperation with the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation and FightBAC!, identifies appropriate levels of fish consumption for women and young children, fish with safe and unsafe mercury levels for women and young children, and the health benefits for all consumers associated with consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are most commonly found in fish.
"As Americans increase their intake of fish, concerns have been raised about the mercury levels associated with certain varieties," said Dagmar Farr, FMI's group v.p. of legislative and consumer affairs. "This brochure aims to clear up some of the existing confusion, as well as explain how fish and shellfish play a key role in a healthful diet."
The brochure includes an illustrated chart of the 20 most consumed fish and shellfish in the United States that are lower in mercury, as well as a chart of fish that women and young children should avoid because of their higher levels of mercury.
The brochure says that women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers ,and young children can safely consume 12 ounces total per week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. A typical serving size of fish is three to six ounces, although this should be smaller for young children.
The brochure also includes a chart detailing the omega-3 content of three-ounce portions of various fish and shellfish, including farmed and canned salmon, tuna, rainbow trout, haddock, cod, oysters, crab, lobster, and shrimp.
"Consumers have been bombarded with conflicting information about fish and health," said David B. Schmidt, e.v.p. of the IFIC Foundation. "FMI's 'Mercury and Fish' brochure will be a great consumer resource to put the risks and benefits of fish in the diet into context."
To purchase a Mercury and Fish color brochure (25 cents for members, 50 cents for associate members, and $1 for nonmembers), please contact the FMI Store at (202) 220-0723 or visit the FMI Store at http://www.fmi.org/pub/.