FDA taking another look at mercury in seafood

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Associated Press

Posted on May 31, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Updated Saturday, May 31 at 7:09 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Food and Drug Administration says new guidelines are coming about mercury in seafood but they'll be an advisory, not a mandate.

Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says the agency is not planning to require food labels, but it will be updating its guidance on mercury in different varieties of seafood and what that means to pregnant women.

It's seen as a long-awaited move aimed at helping women better understand what to eat when they're pregnant.

Eating fish is part of a heart-healthy diet, but fish also can absorb small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin.

For most people, it's not a health risk. But the FDA has warned that pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and young children avoid certain types of high-mercury fish because of concern that too much could harm a developing brain.

Consumer groups have complained the warnings aren't clear enough.

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