Enviro-Lobbyists Push Prop65 Scare Story, Encourage Seafood-Deficient Diet
Reporters Cautioned not to Repeat Misinformation
The National Fisheries Institute advises local California news
outlets and any other news outlets around the United States that
erroneous claims about mercury in seafood by Got Mercury may very well
cause significant damage to the pubic health of both mothers and
children who fail to include enough seafood in their diet.
Got Mercury asserts restaurants in California that do not post mercury warning signs are failing to comply with Proposition 65.
This is untrue, according to attorney Forrest Hainline, who was
involved in the original Prop. 65 case. Unless a restaurant agreed to
post mercury warning signs in connection with a settlement of
litigation, there is no obligation that any restaurant post any mercury
warning. Based upon the findings in the Prop. 65 case against the tuna
manufacturers, no restaurant or store selling fish would be required to
post any mercury warning.
published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
illustrates the consequences to public health that result from
discouraging seafood consumption. The study of mothers and their babies
concluded that a low-seafood diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids
and poses a risk to babies development.
Meanwhile, a growing chorus of independent scientists is putting the
real science of mercury and seafood in perspective. The National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states, as an agency we
have concluded that the issue [of mercury] has been overstated. Recent
scientific understandings are indicating that the public health
concerns regarding mercury in fish are not as profound as commonly
perceived and therefore can result in unintended consequences by
scaring people away from a healthy and nutritious foodstuff.
The Got Mercury report claims to cite new developments on the
mercury front, with specific reference to a January 23, 2008 New York
Times article. The Times article, however, is based on no new evidence
or scientific study, ignores the developing science of the importance
of seafood to fetal and infant development and has been widely
discredited by Time magazine, Slate.com, The Center for Independent Media and the Times own public editor.
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