Mercury Policy Project (MPP)

The Mercury Policy Project’s (MPP) campaign “to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure” is based on fear, deceit and science denialism.

For publicity and political impact, MPP activists have perpetuated false dramatic narratives, contradicted scientific consensus and published fraudulent data. They’ve warned that commonplace items like dental fillings, cosmetics and light bulbs are hazardous. They’ve aligned with anti-vaccine zealots to lobby for the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, even though definitive peer-reviewed studies quelled all concerns long ago.

And they have further harmed the public health by frequently stirring up unfounded fear about seafood, even though such risk-centric “ messaging reduces fish consumption…resulting in an overall reduction in the potential health benefits derived from” omega-3 fatty acids.

Instead of relying on expert doctors, nutritionists and scientists, the MPP spreads its own fraudulent, unchallenged “findings” as facts — but they’re clearly not.

The MPP has rejected nutrition guidelines urging greater fish consumption from government bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It has also disparaged peer-reviewed scientific findings from authoritative institutions such as theHarvard School of Public Health and the Institute of Medicine proving that the benefits of eating seafood far outweigh the risks.

Just consider the MPP’s self-published “report” that warns about mercury levels found in tuna served in school lunches. It ignores research showing children arenot eating nearly enough seafood for optimal health. It also fails to note that mercury levels in canned tuna are well below the FDA’s mercury standard (1.0 parts per million, which includes a built-in safety factor of 1000 percent) — meaning that parents have nothing to fear from tuna fish sandwiches.

Just as egregious, the report’s information is anecdotal. Ned Groth, the lead author, relied on what he heard was served at the school of “a friend’s grandson in New Jersey.” No wonder why the report is not found in a peer-reviewed journal — it’s unserious, irresponsible and deeply flawed.

It’s worth noting that activist Ned Groth once wrote to NFI in the hope that it would hire Groth Consulting Services. His rationale: “Americans (essentially everyone) should be eating more fish than they do” and that “consumers need accurate, balanced information to guide their seafood choices.”

NFI didn’t respond to his overtures, so instead Groth began working with the Mercury Policy Project. Since then, he has written an essay called “Tuna Rots Your Brain” claiming that “fish-eating has a ‘dark side’”. He also delivered a lecture to college students where he said his new favorite slogan was, “It’s the tuna stupid!

Not exactly sound science.

It’s not surprising, then, that MPP co-founder Michael Bender admitted during testimony at an FDA hearing, “… I don’t have a science background.”

That’s why it’s best to ignore MPP’s anti-science ramblings and listen to credentialed scientists and doctors. As the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes , “not all nutrition advice is created equal.”

Causing Harm Since: 2010

January 1, 2013

September 25, 2012

September 19, 2012

July 15, 2011

April 24, 2010

February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010