Moms Clean Air Force: A Threat to Public Health
The activist group Moms Clean Air Force (MCAF) is once again whipping up fears about seafood trying to scare parents as a way to push a political agenda. And, ironically, its children who will suffer for it.
In a column on thinkprogress.org, MCAF Senior Director and Co-Founder Dominique Browning claims that coal-fired plants are polluting the oceans and contaminating seafood with mercury.
Its actually an effort to persuade lawmakers to put new restrictions on utilities, and what better way to get attention than warning about a dinner table threat to Americas children? Its cynical but effective.
Its also not true.
Seafood and tuna, in particular — is one of the healthiest foods on earth. Seafood is rich in nutrients that help keep brains and hearts healthy throughout a person’s life and are essential for developing babies. A long-term federal study showed that children whose moms cut back on seafood during pregnancy are more likely to have abnormally low IQs.
What about mercury? Extensive research shows that the trace levels of mercury found in commercial seafood is largely naturally occurring and originates from underwater volcanoes. All fish in the ocean contain minute levels of mercury and have since the beginning of time. But its important to know that the 10 most popular fish Americans enjoy today including canned tuna — are low in mercury and fall well within the U.S. governments very conservative safety guidelines.
Yet youd never know it from Ms. Browning and her unfounded attacks on tuna (which infamously included the overwrought op-ed, A Worried Mother Does Better Research Than the FBI). Its not surprising that her organization is sponsored by the radical activist group Environmental Defense Fund. It, too, is well known for hyping mercury concerns to advance its political agenda and pick up extra contributions from worried environmentalists.