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Great Lakes Article:

New Labels Help You Have Your Fish and Eat It, Too
Cornell University Press Release
Published December 23, 2005

Newswise To help consumers make informed choices about fish -- which is protein rich and heart healthy but may harbor chemical contaminants -- Cornell Professor Barbara Knuth serves as a scientific adviser to Seafood Safe, a new voluntary fish-labeling program for companies, retailers and restaurants.

"The program uses certified, independent laboratories to test for environmental pollutants, particularly mercury and PCBs, in fish," says Knuth, professor and chair of natural resources at Cornell. She has been researching risk communication, risk perception and risk management associated with chemical contaminants in fish -- and the policy processes related to these risk-management approaches -- for almost 20 years.

Knuth advises Seafood Safe to help develop methodology, standards and labels on how to communicate a product's risk to consumers. The labels indicate how many meals consumers can consume of the product each month without being exposed to dangerous levels of contaminants. The labels use standards derived from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

Seafood Safe was founded in early 2005 by Henry Lovejoy, president of EcoFish, a New Hampshire-based company that produces frozen fish dinners with sustainable harvested seafood and is sold to natural food stores. The program will be launched to the fish industry at large during 2006.

Knuth, who authored a major risk communication guidance document still used by the EPA to develop fish-consumption, health-advisory programs, is also the past president of the American Fisheries Society and its water quality section. She has served on the board of technical experts of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission and on National Research Council committees on implications of reducing dioxin in the food supply, improving the collection and use of fisheries data and review of recreational fisheries survey methods.







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