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Statement by Gerald Leape, Vice President, Marine Conservation, National Environmental Trust, on a New Recommendation From Scientists Urging Pregnant Women to Eat More Fish

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a departure from current FDA and EPA guidelines, an industry-backed effort today encouraged pregnant women and women of childbearing age to increase their seafood consumption, despite the well-known risk of mercury, a highly potent neurotoxin and other contaminants commonly found in seafood.

"It's misleading to urge pregnant women to eat more fish without mentioning the documented public health risks associated with fish or how consuming more seafood is diminishing the world's fisheries stocks.

"The coalition failed to warm the public that farmed fish, especially farmed salmon, often contain antibiotics, colorants and pesticides, several of which are known carcinogens. In addition some marine species can contain contaminants like PCBs and flame retardants.

"Fish are not the only source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Pregnant women can eat eggs, flax, nuts, and kiwi fruits and still receive high concentrations of omega-3s without worrying about possible contaminants.

"Not all fish are equal in the nutrition benefits they offer. This selective repacking of science, combined with push polling, misleads and confuses the public."


In a response to a reporter question at today's press conference, the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies coalition reveled that the National Fisheries Institute paid $60,000 to publicize these findings.

For more information on contaminants in seafood:


Kymberly Escobar, 202.887.8814

SOURCE National Environmental Trust
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