Benefit-risk assessment of fish and fish products in the Norwegian diet – an update. Opinion of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety
AuthorSkåre, Janneche Utne; Brantsæter, Anne Lise; Frøyland, Livar; Hemre, Gro Ingunn; Knutsen, Helle Katrine; Lillegaard, Inger Therese L.; Andreassen, Åshild Kristine; Elvevoll, Edel Oddny; Andersen, Lene Frost; Hjeltnes, Brit; Hofshagen, Merete; Iversen, Per Ole; Källqvist, Torsten; Krogdahl, Åshild; Næss, Bjørn; Rafoss, Trond; Steffensen, Inger-Lise; Wasteson, Yngvild
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority referred to VKM’s report from 2006, which pointed out that the positive impact of fish consumption on public health was especially due to the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D in fish. Further, VKM concluded that the contaminants that could pose a potential risk to public health through fish consumption mainly were methylmercury, dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs).
The request included a reassessment of fish consumption in Norway with focus on specific nutrients; n-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), vitamin D, and the minerals iodine and selenium, and on specific contaminants; mercury, dioxins and dl-PCBs. VKM was asked to address the main changes in the use of raw materials in farmed fish feed and how these affect the levels of nutrients, mercury, dioxins and dl-PCBs and in fish feed. Further, VKM was asked to address to what extent levels of nutrients and contaminants in fish have changed since 2006, to describe these changes and estimate the human intake of the substances in question on the basis of recent dietary data. VKM was also requested to consider the benefits of eating fish with regard to the intake of nutrients and the risks associated with the intake of mercury, dioxins and dl-PCBs and comment on whether this change the conclusions from the report in 2006. Additionally, on the basis of updated knowledge, VKM was asked to comment whether other substances, like pesticide and residues of veterinary medicinal products, could affect the conclusions with regard to the impact on public health.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Directorate of Health will use the updated assessment as a basis for public recommendations concerning the consumption of fish and fish products.