The environment

EU grants Sweden permanent exemption for high dioxin levels found in Baltic Sea fish

The European Union says Sweden can continue to sell herring and other Baltic Sea fish that have dioxin levels over the allowed amount, reports the Swedish news agency TT.

Finland also receives the exemption, which allows the countries to sell herring, salmon, and other fish from the Baltic that have high levels of both dioxin and the environmental pollutant PCB.

Sweden has received an exemption to the rule since 2002. The new exemption is permanent, as long as the country provides the European Union with evidence every year that it is informing the major risk groups, children and young women, about the risks.

The National Food Administration wants the exemption to be taken away. It says thousands of Swedes have dangerously high levels of dioxins and PCB's that can lead to weakened reproduction capacity, weakened immune systems, and cancer.

But the commercial fishing industry in Sweden wants to keep the exemption.