Date Published: 6 January 2009

Agency consulting on sustainable fish advice

Health Food - illustrating an item from the UK Food Standards Agency.

The Agency has today launched a public consultation on proposals to review its advice to consumers on eating fish in the light of sustainability issues. The Agency is committed to taking wider sustainability issues into account in its advice on nutrition and food safety.

Current advice is that we should eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. The evidence regarding the health benefits and safety of eating fish is firmly established and is not being re-examined. The consultation addresses concerns over fish stocks and in relation to other environmental impacts of fishing.

The Agency’s commitment to incorporate sustainability into its policy making is part of a Government-wide strategy on sustainable development. Much is being done by other Government departments as well as non-Government organisations and the industry to improve the sustainability of fish stocks and it is the Agency’s intention to support and draw on this by ensuring consumers have the information they need to make informed choices.

Rosemary Hignett, Head of Nutrition at the Food Standards Agency, said:

"Eating fish has considerable health benefits, so we will continue to encourage consumption as part of a drive to improve public health but we recognise the potential impact our advice may have on demands for fish.

We know that issues relating to sustainability are important to consumers. By helping to ensure they have access to clear and reliable information about sustainable sources of fish, consumers will be able to make more informed choices."

Views and comments on several issues relating to how the Agency can best help provide information to consumers are required by 31 March 2009 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by 1 April 2009 for Scotland.

 

Source: Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK.

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