The FDA’s New Advice on Seafood for Pregnant Women

Most pregnant women don’t eat enough seafood. This is due to concerns about mercury contamination, even though most seafood is actually completely safe for pregnant women to eat.

Seafood for Pregnant Women

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Because of this, the FDA have released a new chart that explains what pregnant women can eat and what they should avoid.

Previous Seafood Advice was Unclear

The FDA first issued advice about seafood for pregnant women in 2004. The guidance included recommendations on how much seafood pregnant women can eat, as well as which species should be avoided due to high levels of mercury.

However critics claimed that the guide was unclear and confusing. They believe that it scared many pregnant women away from eating seafood all together as they weren’t sure what food was safe and healthy and what wasn’t. The problem is very real. The FDA analysed fish consumption data from more than one thousand pregnant women in the United States and they found that over 20% of them ate no fish whatsoever during the previous month.

What is Safe and What isn’t?

Due to the confusion, the FDA have just released an update to their seafood advice.

The advice lists over 60 species of fish, and they are ranked from “best choice” to “choice to avoid”. This makes it much easier for pregnant women to eat a healthy seafood diet during their pregnancy. Each listing comes with extra information, including an illustration of an appropriate portion size.

So what seafood should pregnant women avoid? The previous list included king mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish, and now bigeye tuna, marlin and orange roughy have also been added.

Fast Tracking Seafood Advice for Pregnant Women

There are companies to help with FDA 510k, such as The FDA Third Party Review is accredited to review Medical Device Submissions on behalf of the FDA as part of the Third Party Review Program.

This means that the FDA can fast track their 510k submissions, which reduces time to market by around 100 days. This is very useful for the FDA, as it means that they can provide important health advice as soon as possible, which can help to prevent unnecessary illness or health problems. The updated advice will make it much easier for pregnant women to make informed, healthy seafood choices.