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Monsanto's Fishy Fat From Soy Is Headed For U.S. Dinner Tables

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Food Safety page.

Most people have heard about omega-3 fatty acids, the primary constituents of fish oil. Stearidonic acid, one of those omega-3s, is hardly a household term. But it should become one, researchers argued this week at the 2011 Experimental Biology meeting.

In any case, stearidonic acid should at least become a welcome constituent of kitchen larders. The scientists' reasoning: This fatty acid can provide fish oil's heart and other health benefits - without the fishy taste or high cost of finned fare. Beginning next year, it also can be supplied without harming a single fish.

Numerous health organizations advocate that Americans down at least two fish meals a week, notes Eileen Kennedy, dean of Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. This emphasis on seafood is not because nutritionists prize fish, per se, she says, so much their wanting to see consumers get more of two long-chain omega-3's in the animals' oil: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

"The American diet, as typically consumed, is low in omega-3 fatty acids," Kennedy says. And the recently released federal nutrition guidelines not only recommend consuming a variety of fish and shellfish species, but also set a weekly target of eating some 8 ounces of seafood. Pregnant women, she notes, are being advised to eat up to 12 ounces per week.