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Home > News & Events > Resolutions > AR - 2011-02

Association of Food and Drug Officials



Submitted by:  Charlene Bruce, President-AFDOSS, and Rita Johnson, Co-Chair for AFDO Seafood Committee, as submitted by the Seafood Committee member, Dr. Steve Otwell, Food Science & Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida

Date:  May 2, 2011

Concerning:  Public health advisories regarding seafood consumption

Whereas, the current and future supply of seafood consumed across the United States has significantly changed in the past five years and will henceforth differ from any prior decade such that the potential, calculated risks from mercury exposure through general seafood consumption in the USA will continue to be diminished, and

Whereas, numerous and recent formal position statements and group letters have been recently advanced by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (report issued 2007), by local and national professional organizations for public health and nutrition, by certain medical authorities and associations expressing concern for patients, and by many science-based conference proceedings about the nation and world, that are collectively calling for revised messages that can better direct healthful choices in available seafood, and

Whereas, national, state and local elected representatives from congressional and management agencies are calling for alignment of fish consumption advisories for public health, i.e, concurrent alignment with the new USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued January 2011, and

Whereas, most of the current saturation of fish consumption advisories lack efforts or metrics to determine public health impacts or consumer utility and comprehension, and

Whereas, many messages and advisories do not clearly distinguish the more problematic choices from certain inland or freshwater sources that are more subject to recreational or subsistent consumption, and

Whereas, many current messages have significantly drifted from the original advisory issued jointly by EPA and FDA such that they create confusion and contradictions with additional avoidance categories, species identity, more toxins, and resource sustainability, and

Page 1 of 2Whereas, FDA is preparing a revised position on risk assessments regarding mercury and fish consumption for pregnant women, their children and women of child bearing years, therefore, be it

Resolved, that AFDO request FDA to inform respective state agencies with authority to develop and/or issue public health advisories for seafood consumption that they should reconsider the traditional approaches and incorporate considerations for all prior listed issues, and it be further

Resolved, that AFDO request FDA that they explore efforts through meetings, professional forums and materials to provide the most pertinent information to help support and monitor changes in advisories that are more current, useful and effective for public health.

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