In 2014, the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) published a comprehensive report confirming that no one, including pregnant women or women of childbearing age, is exposed to harmful amounts of pollutants by eating farmed salmon. The main pollutants in wild and farmed salmon are PCBs, dioxins and mercury. According to VKM, it is safe to eat over a kilogram of farmed salmon a week without a risk of reaching harmful levels of these substances.
Oily fish is good for fetal development
Today, pregnant women do not eat enough fish to meet the body's need for omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish like salmon have a positive effect on the development of the central nervous system in fetuses and infants. Therefore, both pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to eat more fish. VKM concludes that the health benefits of eating salmon are so great that they outweigh the negligible risk posed by the current levels of contaminants in salmon. Read more about the nutritional content of salmon here [internal link].
New advice for pregnant women
Previously, VKM advised pregnant women and women of childbearing age to limit their intake of oily fish. However as the fish oil in salmon feed has been partly replaced by vegetable ingredients, the amounts of PCBs, dioxins and mercury in farmed salmon have decreased. Today, farmed salmon even contains less contaminants than fatty wild fish. Read more about why fish oil has been replaced with vegetable ingredients here [internal link].
Matportalen.no's recommended diet for pregnant women (in Norwegian only)
The Norwegian government's info page - Seafood and health benefits (in Norwegian only)
The Norwegian government's info page - Safe and healthy seafood - organization (in Norwegian only)
The Norwegian government's info page - Safe seafood (in Norwegian only)
Iodine and omega-3 is important for pregnant women (in Norwegian only)