Recommendation 14: In addition, the committee recommends more research on useful biomarkers of contaminant exposures and more precise quantitative characterization of the dose-response relationships between chemical contaminants and adverse health effects, in the ranges of exposure represented in the general US population, in order to reduce uncertainties associated with recommendations for acceptable ranges of intake.

Designing Consumer Guidance

Recommendation 15: Research is needed to develop and evaluate more effective communication tools for use when conveying the health benefits and risks of seafood consumption as well as current and emerging information to the public. These tools should be tested among different communities and subgroups within the population and evaluated with pre- and post-test activities.

Recommendation 16: Among federal agencies there is a need to design and distribute better consumer advice to understand and acknowledge the context in which the information will be used by consumers. Understanding consumer decision-making is a prerequisite. The information provided to consumers should be developed with recognition of the individual, environmental, social, and economic consequences of the advice. In addition, it is important that consistency between agencies be maintained, particularly with regard to communication information using serving sizes.


For most of the general population, balancing benefits and risks associated with seafood consumption to obtain nutritional and health benefits can be achieved by selecting seafood from available options in quantities that fall within accepted dietary guidelines. For the specific subgroups identified by the committee, making such selections requires that consumers are aware of both nutrients and contaminants in the seafood available and are provided useful information on both benefits and risks to inform their choices. The committee has put forward its interpretation of the evidence for benefits and risks associated with seafood and considered the balance between them. Recommendations are made to facilitate development of appropriate consumer guidance for making seafood selections, based on the committee’s findings, and research opportunities are identified that will contribute to filling knowledge gaps.

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