• Mercury in Food as a Human Health Hazard

    The AAFP supports the continued testing and reporting levels of mercury in seafood by appropriate local, state, and national agencies. Family physicians are encouraged to be knowledgeable about, and tell their patients of, the benefits and risks of eating various types of freshwater and ocean seafood. In particular, that developing fetuses and young children are at greater risk of harm from significant mercury exposure. 

    Family physicians are in a position to recommend healthy choices regarding various types of seafood, including that which is caught and sold locally. Consumption guidelines for pregnant people, people giving human milk to their children, children, and adults, should be made readily available in a consumer-friendly format by the Environmental Protection Agency and/or the Food and Drug Administration. This information should include the relative mercury content of various species, as well as allow the consumer to access information on the safety of the water supply which contains the fish, in order to maximize benefit and minimize risk of consuming seafood. (2007) (September 2022 COD)