Study Questions Pregnancy Fish Limit
Research Shows FDA Advice Does More Harm Than Good to Babies
WebMD News Archive
What Should Pregnant Women Do?
Hibbeln stopped short of saying that pregnant women should ignore the
FDA-EPA guidelines, or that the federal agencies should change their
“It is not the role of the NIH to advise anyone to revisit their
recommendations,” he says.
But, he adds, “There are many bright scientists and competent administrators
within the FDA and EPA who may wish to evaluate these data.”
While that may happen in the future, a spokesman for the FDA tells WebMD the
agency has no plans to change the recommendations.
The FDA-EPA advisory warns pregnant women not to eat shark, swordfish, king
mackerel, or tilefish. These are the fish more likely to have high mercury
Commonly eaten fish low in mercury can be eaten up to 12 ounces a week and
include shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna, and catfish. Albacore tuna
consumption should be limited to no more than 6 ounces a week since it contains
more mercury than canned light tuna.
In an editorial accompanying the study, Gary J. Myers, MD, suggests there is
little science to back up the FDA's recommendation to limit seafood consumption
The University of Rochester professor of neurology tells WebMD policymakers
should not narrowly focus on only one thing when they make health
“You have to take a holistic approach when it comes to the health and
development of children,” he says. “That means considering the things that
improve health as well as the things that might theoretically be
"It is very clear that omega-3 fatty acids are very important for brain
development," says Myers. "It is less clear that mercury at the levels
you get from eating fish poses a risk.”