Food safety

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption: 25 - 29 January 2010

The 29th Session of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, Codex Alimentarius Commission held in Geneva, Switzerland, 3-7 July 2006, requested FAO and WHO to consider holding an FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the health risks associated with methylmercury and dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in fish and the health benefits of fish consumption, based on a recommendation from the 38th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC).

In order to better address the request from Codex, FAO/WHO held a small expert group meeting to get advice on these issues and the most appropriate way forward. The expert meeting noted that a large number of national studies and assessments were available and that these could form the basis for further development of assessment models and for the evaluation. However, a quantitative risk-benefit approach may not be possible at the international level, so other options may need to be explored.

Taking into consideration the advice from the small expert group, FAO and WHO convened a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption from 25 to 29 January 2010 in Rome, Italy, to provide scientific advice on how to consider the risks and benefits of fish consumption.

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