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Letter: Falling dioxins in cod liver oil

Sir: You published material taken from a press announcement issued by Friends of the Earth (report, 16 June), giving credibility to damaging claims about cod liver oil.

Last month the Government's Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment published a review of the levels of toxins in food, breast milk and fish oils. It reported that, in common with all other foods, fish oils contain a level of contamination. However, it was noted that overall levels of PCBs and dioxins in foods, human breast milk and fish oils are falling. The daily intake from human breast milk can be up to 15 times that from cod liver oil.

At the time of publication, Sir Kenneth Calman, Chief Medical Officer, confirmed that the levels in fish oils "are very unlikely to pose a risk to the health of breast-fed infants, toddlers, schoolchildren or adults".


Director, Seven Seas Ltd