The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued draft updated advice regarding the consumption of fish by pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children. The draft updated advice is intended to align with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations on fish consumption.

The FDA and EPA previously only recommended maximum quantities of fish that these groups should consume in order to limit mercury ingestion, but the new advice recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat 8–12oz (2–3 servings) of fish per week that are lower in mercury to support fetal growth and development. Children are also encouraged to eat 2–3 servings at portions suitable for their age and caloric needs. Fish that are lower in mercury and recommended by the advice include salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna (light canned), tilapia, catfish, and cod, while tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel should be avoided. Also, limiting consumption of white (albacore) tuna to 6oz a week was recommended.

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The FDA is seeking public comments regarding this update prior to issuing final advice, which will be accepted until 30 days after the last transcript from the advisory committee meeting and any other public meetings are made available. They will also solicit feedback from the FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee and focus groups.

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