FDA to update seafood guidance for pregnant women

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg answers questions during a newsmaker interview at the Associated Press in Washington, Friday, May 30, 2014. Hamburg said the agency will soon advise consumers on the appropriate levels of mercury in seafood. In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Hamburg said the agency does not plan to require labels, as requested by consumer groups, but will issue guidance on how much mercury can be present in different kinds of products. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration is putting together new advice for pregnant women on the appropriate levels of mercury in seafood.

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the agency doesn't plan to require mercury labels on seafood, as some consumer groups have sought.

Instead, Hamburg says, the FDA will soon update its guidance on mercury levels in different seafood and what that means.

Fish is part of a heart-healthy diet. But it also can absorb mercury, a neurotoxin, from streams and oceans.

The FDA has long warned that pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and young children avoid certain types of fish because of concern that too much could harm developing brains. That advice has left consumers wondering what's best to eat.