Reporters and Editors Warned to Treat Claims of Mercury Poisoning by Actor Jeremy Piven with Skepticism

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is alerting reporters and editors nationwide to treat actor Jeremy Piven's claims of mercury poisoning from eating sushi with skepticism.

WASHINGTON, D.C. December 23, 2008 The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is alerting reporters and editors nationwide to treat actor Jeremy Piven’s claims of mercury poisoning from eating sushi with skepticism. For balanced information on the benefits of seafood consumption and mercury, NFI directs reporters to review two recent pieces published in the online magazine, Slate.

In 2008, Slate media critic Jack Shafer specifically tackled the issue of mercury in tuna sushi and concluded that activists warning Americans about high mercury levels in tuna sushi were engaging in “scaremongering”. In 2007, Arthur Allen wrote that not only is it safe for pregnant women to eat fish, but that scientific evidence showed that woman who eat more fish have smarter babies than moms who don’t.

“We already know close to 80 percent of Americans are not eating seafood at least twice per week, said Jennifer Wilmes, a registered dietitian with the National Fisheries Institute. “Messages that inappropriately scare consumers away from fish because of mercury can do a real disservice to public health, said Wilmes. When people eat less seafood, they miss out on a significant disease prevention opportunity.

Whats more, published reports suggest Pivens situation has more to do with contracts and Hollywood hype than health.

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.


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Contact Information

Gavin Gibbons

703.752.8891

ggibbons@nfi.org