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Organisation Reports High Mercury Levels in Fish

SPAIN - Ecologists in Action has reported that 2011 saw maintained notifications of high mercury levels in fish and fishery products and that the EU permitted levels do not protect human health.

According to the organisation, the situation is becoming more serious as the EU permits limits of mercury in fish that do not adequately protect human health. Neither does it take into account the average consumption, and body characteristics of consumers.

According Ecologists in Action, during 2011 there have been 76 notifications of mercury content in fish. These notifications were published by the rapid alert system for food and feed ( RASFF in the acronym).

Of these notifications, 23 exceedances of mercury in fish originated in Spain. The country has made a greater number of notifications (43) is still from Italy, Spain's biggest importer, the rest have been notified by France (12) and Spain (five).

Spain has reported some fish to contain up to 5.6 mg / kg - ppm of mercury, much higher than the maximum permitted level of 0.5 milligrams (mg) per kg.

Ecologists in Action states that the limits set by the EU are less stringent than those established by the Joint FAO / WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and referenced to the maximum weekly intake of methylmercury (1.6 micrograms per kg of body weight per week).

Lucy Towers

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