Mercury Content Labels On Fish “Too Complicated”
A survey conducted by Health Canada found that Canadians want mandatory labeling of mercury in fish, however Health Canada believes that this mandatory labeling is not warranted and the agency is looking at other options.
The Health Canada survey explored how much fish Canadians eat and how well they understand the advice they get on mercury intake. The goal of this survey was to ensure the advice on risks and benefits is communicated, but does not cause a drop in consumption.
Approximately 80% of Canadians eat fish at least one time per week. In British Columbia and Atlantic Canada, roughly one quarter of people consume fish three or more times per week.
Consuming too much fish can mean consuming too much mercury, which can damage the nervous system.
Most respondents felt that package labels that list mercury content would be desirable. Health Canada, however, feels that this would be too difficult to implement and is looking at other options including partnering with the medical community and fishing industry to put information about mercury and fish online.