A survey has recently been published in the USA, which found high mercury content in certain types of fish, and has therefore recommended a change in policy in the USA. However, the USA FDA has not yet changed its recommendations on this issue.
he Ministry of Health refreshes its recommendations on consumption of fish in Israel:
Fish are a good source of protein, they are relatively free of saturated fats and contain Omega-3 at varying levels, depending on their nutrition, the location where they were cultivated and the method by which they were fished. Consumption of fish makes a positive contribution to the health of both adults and children.
The Ministry of Health recommends that the entire population, including children, consume fish and diversify the types of fish in their diet. There is no need to limit the consumption of fish in the general population and especially among children. On the other hand, it is recommended to maintain a balanced and diverse nutrition.
The Israeli Ministry of Health recommendation is suited to the nutritional habits and the foods available in Israel.
Most of the canned tuna sold in Israel are of light tuna, in which the mercury concentrations are very low. Fish which may contain high mercury concentrations, such as white tuna (albacore), shark and sword fish are not commonly available for public consumption in Israel.
Furthermore it is important to bear in mind that the Ministry of Health monitors the mercury content in tuna in Israel. Recently collected data indicates that only in 16% of the canned light tuna samples taken, there was any trace of mercury at all, and even this was at lower levels than the allowable limit.
White tuna, which is consumed primarily as steaks, showed that the mercury levels were below the allowable limit for this type of fish.
For pregnant women – the Ministry of Health does not recommend the consumption of large fish such as: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and albacore tuna, which may contain high levels of mercury.