The federal government has been saying for years that pregnant women and young children should limit their consumption of fish to avoid exposure to potentially harmful amounts of mercury.
But now, two top consumer protection agencies are at odds about that advice.
The Food and Drug Administration argues the health benefits of eating fish outweigh the potential ill effects of mercury. But the Environmental Protection Agency calls the FDA study "scientifically flawed and inadequate" and an "oversimplification" lacking analytical rigor.
Environmental groups say it's a sneak attempt to undercut important public health advice in the waning hours of a Bush administration that has treated science as a stepchild.
The food industry is praising the FDA's shift.