Vogue Magazines Google-fueled Freakout Gets it Flat Wrong on Seafood and Mercury

Editors Ignore Errors and Sourcing Omissions in Irresponsible Article

May 18, 2009 Washington, D.C. – The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is urging American women and consumers to ignore the demonstrably false and distorted information about seafood consumption and mercury that appears in the May edition of Vogue Magazine.

The article “Mercury Rising,” by Bronwyn Garrity, was initiated by what she calls a dinner-time, Google-fueled freakout. The piece falsely asserts that studies show an avalanche [of] danger in seafood. In reality, the opposite is true. Garrity ignores the latest independent information on the benefits of seafood consumption from the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet and the Institute of Medicine, as well as leading health organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

The piece relies almost exclusively on the agenda of environmental activists while omitting any sources that might challenge her slanted and alarmist arguments.

In a letter delivered to Vogue Senior Editor Abigail Walch on May 12, NFI Vice President Mary Anne Hansan pointed out these errors and requested a formal correction, writing, the article makes a mockery of [health reporting] and fails in almost every journalistic respect – on objectivity, balance, accuracy, and sourcing.”

The article also ignored the latest evidence on the benefits of seafood consumption from the Food and Drug Administration, research that touted cognitive benefits for babies and young children, as well as the prevention of 50,000 deaths per year from heart disease and stroke.

The Vogue feature is just the latest in a disturbing trend being seen in women’s magazines recently — like O and Self — where reporters have ignored basic journalism standards, and instead relied exclusively on nutritional advice from radical environmental activists like Oceana and the Environmental Defense Fund.

To call further attention to Vogue’s journalistic malpractice, NFI will be running advertising on MediaBistro.com and other online media criticism Web sites.

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