FDA taking another look at mercury in seafood

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Food and Drug Administration says new guidelines are coming about mercury in seafood but they'll be an advisory, not a mandate.

Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says the agency is not planning to require food labels, but it will be updating its guidance on mercury in different varieties of seafood and what that means to pregnant women.

It's seen as a long-awaited move aimed at helping women better understand what to eat when they're pregnant.

Eating fish is part of a heart-healthy diet, but fish also can absorb small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin.

For most people, it's not a health risk. But the FDA has warned that pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and young children avoid certain types of high-mercury fish because of concern that too much could harm a developing brain.

Consumer groups have complained the warnings aren't clear enough.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.