The Food and Drug Administration recently issued warnings about the mercury content of some types of ocean-caught fish. Their warning is not for adults, but they are concerned about pregnant women, breast feeding women, and young children.

Fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish contain high levels of a form of mercury called methyl mercury that may harm an unborn baby's developing nervous system. These long-lived, large fish that feed on smaller fish accumulate the highest levels of methyl mercury and therefore pose the greatest risk to the unborn child. However, the fish covered in this advisory, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, are not harmful if you eat them only occasionally.

The FDA advises pregnant women and those of childbearing age who may become pregnant to select a variety of other kinds of fish -- including shellfish, canned fish, smaller ocean fish or farm-raised fish -- and says they can safely eat 12 ounces per week of cooked fish. A typical serving size of fish is from 3 to 6 ounces. Additional information is available at:

Checked 5/3/07

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