Young women and girls should stay away from herring, the Swedish National Food Agency has warned, as both the fermented and fresh varieties can harm fetuses and infants.
Fermented herring, known to the Swedes as surströmming, is a Swedish specialty. It’s loved and loathed, putrid yet popular.
And like moist snus, it’s one of the crazy concoctions Swedes love so much that they fight the EU in able to keep them.
But it can also be poisonous. The fish contains high levels of PCB and dioxin, environmental pollutants with the potential to be highly toxic – and seriously harm fetuses and infants.
The Swedish National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) declared on Monday that young women should eat herring, stinky or otherwise, no more than two or three times a year, and should try to eat the fish only at the late-August herring celebration – when it’s practically mandatory.
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