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Scientific Steering Committee

Risk-benefit assessment of fish in the Norwegian diet

Report no:

Ordered: 10.04.2019

Publishing: 28.04.2021

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.

VKM has prepared a protocol for the benefit and risk assessment, which is now open for public consultation. The deadline for submitting input is March 4, 2020, to vkm@vkm.no or project manager Kirsten Rakkestad.

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.

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
Maarten NautaPDF, external expert from the Technical University of Denmark
Sofie ThomsenPDF, external expert from the Technical University of Denmark
Inger Therese Laugsand Lillegaard, VKM Secretariat
Jostein Starrfelt, VKM Secretariat
Kirsten E. Rakkestad, VKM Secretariat, Project manager

VKM’s Scientific Steering Committee is responsible for the assessment, which will be published during the spring of 2021.

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

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


P.O. Box 222 Skøyen
0213 Oslo

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