MEDIA ALERT: Mercury “Study” Out of Step with Real Science

EWG shops agenda-driven promotion piece designed to snow media

March 15 – Washington, D.C. – The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) latest “study” about mercury in seafood is not published, peer-reviewed science, but a slickly packaged marketing piece designed to drive traffic to its mercury calculator; promotional click bait.

Over the past decade independent science has migrated away from EWG’s hyperbolic rhetoric about mercury in seafood. In an attempt to look less out of step, the group periodically comes up with science-like press releases to shift the conversation away from real research and back to its agenda. This is yet another example of that.

We recommend reporters and editors actually read the report and not just the press release.

EWG recommends FDA bring its advice to pregnant women into alignment with the USDA Dietary Guidelines to “provide greater clarity.” What they do not mention is that the guidelines have historically said the “benefits of consuming seafood far outweigh the risks, even for pregnant women.”

EWG openly relies on research that “isolate(s) and independently examine(s) the benefits of omega–3s and the harm of mercury.” This type of scientific contortion is comically out of step with mainstream research. Published peer-reviewed science that takes into account the befits of omega-3s and the risks of mercury together, found in the FDA’s Net Effects Report and the report issued jointly by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), is accepted and understood as the gold standard. Consumers don’t eat fish with a side of mercury, studying it that way only works to further EWG’s agenda when they don’t agree with the avalanche of research that stands in contrast to the narrative they are pushing to the press.

EWG’s fear mongering notes that mercury causes “serious nerve damage,” “seizures,” “tissue–damaging free radicals” and “inhibits cellular repairs.” Yet it finds no such maladies in any of the women in its study. None of the women it claims could be so grievously injured by eating seafood were. EWG has a solution in search of a problem.

EWG bills itself as an environmental health and advocacy organization, it is not a public health and or nutrition research group and should not be reported on as such.


Contact Information

Contact: Gavin Gibbons (703) 752-8891