Chicago Tribune: What Did They Know and When did They Know It?
Chicago Tribune writer Nneka McGuire is currently working on a story about seafood consumption with a focus on women and pregnant women. NFI has been happy to serve as a resource for Ms. McGuire providing her on-the-record, recorded interviews and links to independent, published, peer-reviewed science on the current state of seafood and nutrition.
We explained that, independent of NFI, the current state of science overwhelmingly supports and promotes the conclusion that Americans do not eat a sufficient amount of seafood and that the real danger lies in not eating enough… even for pregnant women. We provided her with not only a summary of the findings but direct links to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, the FDA’s Net Effects Report, and the joint study conducted by the World Health Organization and UN FAO.
Ms. McGuire has a library of the latest information at her disposal. In addition, NFI has offered perspective on the many agenda-driven groups that often try to distort scientific consensus in order to promote scare stories about seafood. NFI stands as a continued resource to this reporter and is more than happy to direct her to independent experts, clinicians and research on this topic.
Having seen myriad misreporting on this important topic NFI remains vigilant, if not skeptical, about this forthcoming report for two reasons. After being provided with links to the preeminent, independent, published, peer-reviewed science on seafood consumption the reporter asked NFI for comment, not on those findings, but on two University of Michigan studies– one on seafood and autoimmune disorders and the other on mercury levels off the Hawaiian coast.
This dynamic raises concerns for us because neither of these studies have anything to do with eating fish. To be clear, Ms. McGuire is aware of that incontrovertible fact. To reiterate, neither of the studies she has asked us to comment on involve researching what happens to the human body when fish is eaten. One is an associative review and the other measures mercury in fish. These are not nutrition studies. These do not present conclusions about the effects of fish consumption. There are many, many other conclusive, long term studies that do in fact look at the effects of fish consumption on human health, these do not.
The second phase of our concern comes from the fact that the Chicago Tribune itself has a woefully bad history about reporting on seafood and health. While Ms. McGuire clearly had no role in any of the previous reporting the editorial leadership demonstrated during prior stories was akin to journalistic malpractice.
We stand as a continued resource to this and any other reporter interested in the ground truth science about seafood and nutrition.