The American Heart Association recommends we eat two servings of fish weekly because seafood offers many nutritional health benefits. But, fish also contains toxic chemicals such as PCBs and mercury. Research has shown that mercury specifically can be harmful to a developing fetus and a young child’s developing nervous system. Due to the presence of these chemicals, government agencies regularly issues advisories recommending that fish consumption be limited for certain species. The consumption advisories are generally written for the at-risk population or women, who are pregnant, nursing, may become pregnant and young children.
Consumers need to understand the benefits of making fish part of their healthy and balanced diet while recognizing the potential health risks involved in consuming certain species of fish. The conflicting information creates a level of confusion among consumers but even more specifically among the at-risk population who should be preparing and consuming fish for their health as well as the health of their family. IISG has developed programs that reach out to underserved populations about the risks and benefits of fish consumption.
Fish School: Taking Stock of Risks and Benefits
This program to raise awareness about contaminants in fish involves scientists, nutritional experts, Extension educators, teachers and students in an effort to reach those who need this information the most--women in their child-bearing years and families who fish for their food.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
University of Illinois
1101 W. Peabody Drive
350 National Soybean Research Center, MC-635
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: 217.333.6444 | Fax: 217.333.8046 | firstname.lastname@example.org