Food Law News - UK - 2004

FSA Press Release, 8 January 2004

CONTAMINANTS - FSA response to salmon study published in Science magazine

The levels of dioxins and PCBs found in this study are in line with those that have previously been found by the FSA (see link below to Food Surveillance Paper) and are within up to date safety levels set by the World Health Organisation (levels set by the WHO/FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives in 2001) and the European Commission. This study does not raise any new food safety concerns. This applies to all the salmon: farmed as well as wild, Scottish as well as imported.

FSA chairman Sir John Krebs said:

'This study shows that the levels of dioxins and PCBs in salmon are within internationally recognised safety limits and confirms previous studies by the FSA. Our advice is that people should consume at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily like salmon. There is good evidence that eating oily fish reduces the risk of death from recurrent heart attacks and that there is a similar effect in relation to first heart attacks. Although dioxin levels have decreased dramatically over the past two decades we recognise that they remain a consumer concern. We advise that the known benefits of eating one portion of oily fish outweigh any possible risks. Last year we asked a group of experts to advise on the balance of risks and benefits of eating more than this regularly over a lifetime and they will report later this year.'

On average people in the UK eat one-quarter of a portion of oily fish a week.

The following additional notes are provided

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.