Since February of '08 we've been warning U.S. grocery stores about the perils of engaging with Greenpeace (aka the 500 pound 5 year-old) on issues of sustainability. American stores have their own seafood sustainability plans and partners in place-they, quite frankly, don't need an eco-bully to dictate how they handle their sourcing.
Last week KTLA-TV produced a report on mercury in seafood that did include statements from NFI but still missed the mark on a number of journalistic issues, including the title which was rife with exaggeration; "Fish and Mercury: Recipe for Disaster"- Yum, I'd like an extra helping of hyperbole with my headline, please.
There are four things I would like to share with you all about the Associated Press.
I was pleased at the speed and professionalism with which it corrected its mistakes just 2 weeks ago.
The mercury-warning-signs-on-seafood crowd has pulled a David Hasselhoff.
It wasn't two weeks ago that I was scolding the Economist for a seafood sustainability story that relied on erroneous environmental activist data (not my opinion, mind you, just a fact.) But this week we (and by we I mean Stetson Tinkham, NFI's director of International Affairs and I - avid Economist readers) find the Economist squaring off against activists who have once again gone too far.
A day after the FDA released an exhaustive, peer-reviewed, draft report analyzing the state of seafood science over the past 5 years that demonstrates just how much the benefits of eating seafood outweigh any concerns about trace amounts of mercury, you might wonder why I am blogging about Jeremy Piven. There is a tie-in, trust me.
Here at NFI, you could forgive us if we get a little wary whenever the New York Times takes up the issue of fish consumption and mercury. As you can see from the NFI on the Record section of our Web site,
It's a question perhaps best answered by his bosses, and we're sending them a letter asking just that. We'll let you know what they say.
But while they ponder that query let's take a look at his latest Chicago Tribune article titled Mercury-tainted fish on FDA menu. The very first paragraph is quintessential Hawthorne; a mix of distortion, opinion and poor (if not absent) sourcing.
In an irresponsible and unethical attempt to highjack nutrition policy, environmental lobbyists have launched a concerted effort to usurp the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) authority over food nutrition issues.
Important matters of public health deserve thorough, transparent evaluation
December 15, 2008 Washington, DC – A Washington Post story detailing a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) draft report on seafood consumption that apparently recommends urging the government to amend its out-of-date seafood advice has put seafood science in the spotlight.
“This is an important and positive first step towards recognizing nearly five years worth of science that shows the powerful health benefits of seafood,” said John Connelly, President of the National Fisheries Institute. “Everyone involved in this issue should support a full and public evaluation of the science.”
The FDA tells the Associated Press it, “intends to seek public comment” and that, “this will all be done in a very public and transparent manner.”
The FDA/EPA seafood consumption advice was last updated in 2004. And while a review of the latest seafood science surrounding that advice has been a strategic priority for the FDA since 2006, this is the first time parts of that process have been made public.
“This is an important matter of public health that deserves thorough evaluation by qualified doctors, dietitians, and researchers,” said Connelly. “Those whose agenda is human health want the latest science reviewed and incorporated into any and all federal seafood consumption advice.”
For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com.