Environmental pollutants in question are mercury, PCBs, dioxins and others that make many types if fish unfit for human consumption. The situation will get worse as more and more pollutants are released into the air, water and soil.
Some vulnerable groups as children and pregnant women should avoid fish.
The safest fish to eat may be Alaska's wild red rd salmon. Farm-raised and fresh water fish from rivers and lakes are usually contaminated with more of pollutants such as PCBs and dioxins.
Michael T. Morrissey, director of Oregon State University's Seafood Laboratory in Astoria, Ore., and moderator of the panel, "The best science coming out over the last two years has overwhelmingly been in favour of the benefits of seafood consumption."
Phillip Spiller, director of the Office of Seafood for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said, "We must formulate a clear message for the consumer."
The study that was conducted was a unique 10-year study of more than 700 children living in the Seychelles Islands. The children's mothers averaged 12 meals of fish a week, about 10 times the average fish consumption of individuals in the United States , and those fish contained high levels of methyl mercury.
Yet cognitive tests on the children, taken multiple times over the years, found no cognitive defects or other maladies normally attributed to mercury absorption.
"But young children and pregnant women should still eat 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish to be sure to get the important nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids. For the rest of us, I would recommend eating fish 4-7 times a week. The evidence still suggests that seafood plays a role in reducing coronary heart disease , and new studies suggest that it may reduce the onset of Alzheimer's as well as other mental illnesses." Were the views of panellists.
Those guidelines were echoed by Michael Crawford of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at the Metropolitan University in London.
Carlson and Steve Otwell, from the University of Florida, both spoke as panelists at the AAAS forum and are part of a panel commissioned by the National Academy of Science that will deliver a report on seafood consumption later this spring.
Thus, the consensus was that fish should be consumed for health benefits.