The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing a Federal Register Notice announcing that in 30 days, the FDA and EPA will close the public comment period on their draft advice on fish consumption for certain population groups. Following the close of the comment period, the agencies will review the public comments and determine whether to further revise the advice for fish consumption for these population groups. In June 2014, FDA and EPA updated their advice on fish consumption for pregnant women, women likely to become pregnant, and young children, encouraging women to eat more fish and to eat and serve to young children a variety of fish from choices that are lower in mercury. In addition to accepting comments on this draft advice, a November 2014 public meeting provided a forum for open discussion of the issues.
The June 2014 draft advice updates previous advice published jointly by the FDA and EPA, and incorporates advice previously published by FDA and USDA. Specifically:
· In 2004, the FDA and EPA advised women who might become pregnant, anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and young children, about how to gain the benefits from eating fish (the advice refers to fish and shellfish collectively as fish) while minimizing any risks from mercury in fish. The 2004 advice recommended avoiding the four types of commercial fish that are highest in mercury and eating up to 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish that are lower in mercury.
· In 2010, the FDA and USDA released the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. That document recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume at least 8 and up to 12 ounces per week of a variety of fish lower in mercury. This established 8 ounces as a minimum recommended amount.
The FDA is accepting public comments on the draft updated advice until March 25, 2015.To electronically submit comments to the docket, visit Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0595 on Regulations.gov. To submit comments to the docket by mail, use the following address. Be sure to include docket number: FDA-2014-N-0595 on each page of your written comments.
Division of Dockets Management HFA-305 Food and Drug Administration 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061 Rockville, MD 20852