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Editor's Note: Spread the good news about seafood

Fiona Robinson
Fiona Robinson
November 01, 2005

 

This is a great time to be selling seafood. There’s a huge body of evidence showing that seafood consumption benefits human health in many ways. And the recent research from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis concludes that health benefits from seafood far outweigh potential risks from methylmercury and other toxins. If you’re still unclear about what kind of message you should be sending your customers about seafood, you should read this issue’s Top Story — it’s one that shouldn’t be missed.

“Medical miracle: omega-3” looks at all the good news about seafood’s many health benefits, as well as the challenges the industry and medical community face in conveying this message to consumers.

Increased seafood consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, depression and childhood asthma, to name just a few documented benefits. But this good news gets lost in the flurry of Internet-fueled sound bites, the most popular one erroneously warning pregnant women against eating seafood because of methylmercury.

Meanwhile, research into the benefits of increased seafood consumption seems to go on behind the scenes and generates few headlines in the mainstream media. Here’s a news flash: Did you know that selenium in seafood works to counter the negative impact of methylmercury in seafood?

The recently released report about seafood from Harvard should quell any fears that consumers — especially pregnant women or women of childbearing age — may have about eating seafood. Harvard scientists have criticized the joint seafood advisory the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency issued in 2004 because of the mixed message it gives about seafood consumption. The Harvard report states that Americans, including pregnant women, need to eat seafood. Period.

The seafood industry’s relationship with the medical community is in its infancy. But seafood buyers and sellers have to do their part to bolster the seafood-and-health connection any way they can — through menus, labels, POS brochures and other marketing venues. The millions of Americans confronting various medical conditions need to hear the medical experts’ recommendations to eat more seafood.

P.S. The seafood health story doesn’t end with this issue’s Top Story. Look for future health-related stories in SeaFood Business in 2006; they’ll be flagged with an icon based on this month’s cover photo.

December 2005 - SeaFood Business 

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