Proposal: Dioxin-fish should be labeled

Sweden has a derogation from EU limits that allow fish with high levels of environmental pollutants dioxins and PCBs may be sold. NFA suggests that the fish should be marked to inform that it can only be sold in Sweden, Finland and Latvia.



– The EU Commission wants to Sweden do more to stop the sale of salmon and herring with high levels of dioxins and PCBs to other EU countries. Therefore , we propose the new rules , says Pontus Elvingson , State inspector at the NFA , in a press release.

Since 2012 , Sweden has a permanent exemption from EU rules on the sale of fish with high levels of dioxins and PCBs. The exemption means that Sweden is allowed to sell wild salmon and herring fished in the northern Baltic Sea , even though the levels of dioxins and PCBs in these species exceeds EU limits .

The exemption also means that it is permissible to sell herring and salmon to Finland and salmon to Latvia, but not to the rest of the EU.

To prevent the fish end up in other EU countries suggests NFA a label that can be set either on the packaging or packing slip, and traceability requirements , so that you can see where it comes from and who it is sold to .

– This traceability is food control detect if any party fishing ports in other EU countries than Sweden , Finland or Latvia , says Pontus Elvingson .

NFA also suggests that fish which are analyzed and found to be below the limit values ​​are to be sold on to other EU countries if there is documentation that certifies low levels . But think Pontus Elvingson will not happen in any large extent.

The proposals will now be placed on a consultation with the fishing industry . The plan is that the new rules will come into force in the autumn of 2014.

Dioxins and PCBs are highly hazardous materials stored in the body for a long time . High concentrations of these substances can affect the development of the brain and nervous system, which among other things can cause behavioral problems . The substances suspected to affect human immune function and fertility and increase the risk of cancer.

High levels of dioxin and PCBs are found mainly in oily fish such as wild salmon , trout and herring from the Baltic Sea, as well as certain fish from Lake Vänern and Vättern ( see box) .

A prerequisite for the Swedish derogation is that the NFA provides information on dietary advice for fish. They mean that children , adolescents and women of childbearing age should not eat fatty fish from the Baltic Sea, Vänern and lake more than two to three times per year. The rest of the population , namely men and women who are not planning more children , should not eat fish more often than not more than once per week.

In a study in 2011 came the NFA concluded that it would be better from a public health perspective to allow EU limits also apply in Sweden . It was concluded that a further exception to the limits in the worst case could mean that thousands more children and young women is likely to exceed the tolerable intake .

Hornavan Arjeplog  Håkan Sundström

But the government still chose to recommend an exception to the limit.

High levels of dioxin and PCBs are found mainly in oily fish such as:

* Wild salmon, trout and herring / herring from the entire Baltic Sea

* Wild salmon, trout, char and whitefish from Lake Vänern and Vättern

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