Another Study Finds Methylmercury in Popular Fish
By George Anderson
A new study by the environmental groups Oceana and the Mercury Policy Project confirms earlier research that swordfish and tuna steaks sold in U.S. grocery stores have varying, sometimes dangerous, levels of mercury in them.
Last year the Food and Drug Administration advised various at-risk groups such as children and women of childbearing age to not eat swordfish and tuna along with other species found to contain mercury such as swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.
Jackie Savitz, director of Oceana’s Seafood Contamination Campaign said, “The results clearly demonstrate the need for signs in our supermarkets to communicate the FDA advice because people are unknowingly purchasing these high mercury fish, and women of childbearing age and children may be eating them in spite of the FDA’s warning. Americans have a right to know what’s in their food, and posting warning signs in grocery stores where these fish are sold is a simple, common-sense solution that fulfills that right.”
“Pregnant women and parents of young children need point-of-sale warnings to make informed choices about the fish they purchase,” said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project. “Based on our test results, a 44-pound child eating six ounces of tuna weekly would be four times over the EPA’s reference dose, and a 120-pound woman eating just six ounces of tuna weekly would be eating one and one-half times EPA’s reference dose.”
The EPA reference dose is an estimate of the amount of methylmercury, the form of mercury found in fish, can be consumed without an appreciable risk to a person’s health over their lifetime. Methylmercury has been found to alter the development of the brain and nervous system in the unborn and young children.
Moderator’s Comment: Should stores post POP signs advising shoppers about methylmercury in certain fish and the risk to children and women of childbearing
George Anderson – Moderator
- PRESS RELEASE: STORE-BOUGHT
FISH IN 22 STATES TESTED FOR MERCURY – Oceana and the Mercury Policy Project
- Fish Consumption Advisories – Environmental Protection Agency
- Tests show mercury in groceries’ fish – The Oregonian