Scientific Steering Committee

Risk-benefit assessment of fish in the Norwegian diet

Ordered:

Report no:

Publishing: 10.06.2022

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Key message:

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) is making a risk-benefit assessment of fish in the Norwegian diet, at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Consumption of fish and health consequences

VKM’s assessment will examine the impact of fish consumption on the Norwegian population, if people:

  • Continue consuming the same amount as they do now
  • Increase consumption to the amount recommended by the Norwegian Directorate of Health
  • Reduce consumption and replace some or all fish with other foods

VKM selects the substances and scenarios relevant to the assessment.

The first two questions will be answered in an opinion that will be published in mid-June 2022. The third question will be answered in a separate opinion that will beb published later on.

Updated dietary recommendations for fish consumption

Fish contain nutrients that are good for our health yet can also contain undesirable contaminants that pose a health risk. A risk-benefit assessment of a specific food examines both nutrients and undesirable substances, to evaluate whether the food is more beneficial than damaging. If the food is found to be beneficial, an amount of consumption optimal for attaining positive health effects may be determined.

VKM has assessed the benefits and risks of fish in the Norwegian diet twice before, in 2006 and in 2014.

Since new relevant data is available, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has requested a new risk-benefit assessment of fish consumption in Norway. They will use the assessment to update advice and warnings about eating fish in Norway.

Project group


The project group in VKM consists of:

Lene Frost AndersenPDF, VKM member of the Nutrition, Dietetic Products, Novel Food and Allergy panel, academic leader of the project

Stine UlvenPDF, VKM member of the Nutrition, Dietetic Products, Novel Food and Allergy panel

Lisbeth DahlPDF, VKM member of the Nutrition, Dietetic Products, Novel Food and Allergy panel

Guri SkeiePDF, external expert from the University of Tromsø

Ingrid KvestadPDF, external expert from NORCE Norwegian Research Center AS

Monica CarlsenPDF, VKM member of the Food Additives panel

Josef RasingerPDF, VKM member of the Food Additives panel

Helle KnutsenPDF, VKM member of the Contaminants panel

Anders GoksøyrPDF, external expert from the University of Bergen

Haakon MeyerPDF, external expert from the Institute of Public Health

Paula BerstadPDF, external expert from the Cancer Registry

Lea Sletting JakobsenPDF, external expert from the Technical University of Denmark

Jostein Starrfelt, external expert from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Inger Therese Laugsand Lillegaard, VKM Secretariat

Bente Mangschou, VKM Secretariat

Kirsten E. Rakkestad, VKM Secretariat, Project manager

VKM’s Scientific Steering Committee is responsible for the assessment.

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00
@: vkm@vkm.no


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