Ministry reissues advice on fish consumption

After US Food and Drug Authority finds high levels of mercury in some fish, Health Ministry in Jerusalem reiterates own policy.

Fish 390 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Fish 390
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
After the US Food and Drug Authority found high levels of mercury in certain kinds of fish and recommended an as-yet unimplemented change in government policy, the Health Ministry in Jerusalem has reiterated its own policy on eating fish.
The ministry said that fish is an excellent source of protein, low in saturated fat and high in omega 3, which is beneficial.
Thus eating fish, it said, “contributes to the health of adults and children. The ministry recommends to the whole population, including children, to eat fish of various types. There is no reason to limit its consumption among the public in general and children in particular, but rather to observe a varied and balanced diet.”
Among preserved fish, the ministry said canned tuna sold here is mostly light tuna with very low concentrations of mercury. Tuna with high mercury includes white tuna.
Swordfish and shark, which also have high mercury levels, are not widely consumed in Israel, it said.
The ministry regularly monitors mercury levels in tuna sold here. The latest data showed that only 16 percent of samples of light canned tuna contained any mercury at all, and in those cases, the levels were within permitted limits.
Tuna steaks contain a permitted level of mercury.
Pregnant women should not, according to the ministry, eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish or white albacore tuna, which are liable to have large amounts of mercury.