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People Encouraged To Eat More Fish

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has revised its fish consumption advisory to include a large new body of data on contaminants in fish from Minnesota lakes and rivers. The advisory is also in a new format designed to make it easier to understand while encouraging people to eat more fish.

For more than 20 years, the fish consumption advisory has helped Minnesotans choose which species of fish to eat and how often in order to minimize their risks from contaminants in fish while gaining the many health benefits from eating fish.

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Health experts, including MDH, recommend eating one to two meals of fish per week. Fish are a good low-fat source of protein and eating fish may help protect adults against cardiovascular disease. Pregnant women and women who may become pregnant should also eat fish because it promotes eye and brain development in fetuses.

This year's edition of the advisory includes a substantial amount of new data collected from numerous species of fish from more than 250 lakes and rivers. The advice for specific lakes and rivers in the advisory has been redesigned to include information on three contaminants instead of the previous two: perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) joins mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as one of the contaminants that can affect how much fish people should eat. The tables also include changes in how meal advice is displayed.

"The changes to this year's guide represent the biggest change in the advisory format since it was first published in 1985. It reflects a great amount of cooperative work among MDH, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Department of Agriculture (MDA)," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan.