Sierra Club : In Their Own Words

What They Tell You About:


Health Sierra Club activists warn, Most mercury poisoning happens by eating contaminated sea animals, whose flesh absorbs the air pollution brought down by rain.


What They're Not Telling You

Coal runoff may affect fish caught recreationally in inland waterways and freshwater, but the commercial seafood consumed by most Americans is caught in the oceans or harvested from aquaculture.

The Sierra Club does not disclose that the trace amount of organic mercury found in commercial seafood comes primarily from underwater volcanoes and mineral deposits. This is not a new phenomenon; de minimis amounts of mercury have been released into the ocean for millennia. In fact, methylmercury levels in commercial seafood are nearly identical to levels recorded over the last 100 years.

They also fail to mention that there has never been any case of mercury toxicity or poisoning in the U.S. attributed to the normal consumption of commercial seafood in any peer-reviewed published medical journal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the agency that regulates commercially caught seafood fished from the oceans enforces a 1.0 parts per million (ppm) level of mercury in seafood. To put this in the context of your tuna fish sandwich, canned albacore tuna contains 0.35 ppm mercury and canned light tuna contains 0.13 ppm, putting both types nearly three times lower than the FDA safety level.

The Tough Questions:
How far is the Sierra Club willing to go in its fight against the coal industry? Given that mercury in commercial seafood is by and large naturally occurring how much longer will Sierra Club be allowed to lie about power plant pollutions effect on ocean fish like canned tuna?