Industry groups respond to media over fish oil


Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
July 14, 2015

Fish oil industry groups are speaking out in support of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids after recent mass-media commentaries called those benefits into question.

IFFO, the Marine Ingredients Organization, which has studied the use of fishmeal and fish oil for decades, and its partner organization GOED issued a statement today speaking out against the most recent negative article, which appeared in the Washington Post. IFFO said the article focused almost exclusively on dietary supplements without addressing the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids that come from consuming fish, benefits documented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“There is already much confusion in the health industry over what is a balanced and healthy diet, but we believe that the science behind taking omega-3s is clear,” IFFO said in its statement.

The article, written by Peter Whoriskey, cites multiple sources suggesting that the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form are exaggerated and due for an update, just like researchers have reexamined dietary advice over everything from cholesterol to salt.

GOED, in its response, said the group contacted Whoriskey prior to his writing the story and offered expert testimony and data. “Unfortunately, very few of GOED’s comments were incorporated or put into context.”

GOED also mentioned a similar piece published in the New York Times back in April which made similar assertions to the Post article.

IFFO acknowledged that there is less proof of the health benefits of omega-3 supplements than there is for eating fatty fish, saying “it can be hard to prove both cause and effect and we are still learning every day about the role of omega-3’s, but there is a consistent scientific trend supporting their intake.”

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