The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued updated guidelines for fish consumption. The new color-coded chart divides 60 fish species into “good choices,” “best choices,” and “choices to avoid” categories, along with text encouraging pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as young children, to consume two to three servings of fish per day. “Because the nutritional benefits of eating fish are important for growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood,” the FDA and EPA stated, “the agencies are advising and promoting a minimum level of fish consumption for these groups.” Mounting evidence of rampant fish fraud was recently documented by ocean conservation group Oceana wherein it found that one in five of the 25,000 fish products it reviewed bore a fraudulent label. More recently, a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study found that 47 percent of the fish served at 26 Los Angeles sushi restaurants was mislabeled. Despite these facts, EPA Director for Water Science and Technology Elizabeth Southerland advises, “It’s all about eating and enjoying fish of the right kind and in the right amounts.” The FDA and EPA encourage pediatricians and family planning doctors to print their new chart and display it prominently in their offices.
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