Today, a parent of a mercury-poisoning victim joined a medical doctor and an advocacy group in refuting the FDA’s new proposal to stop warning pregnant women and children about mercury in fish. In 2004, the FDA joined EPA in releasing advice to restrict the species and amounts of fish eaten by women of childbearing age and children due to exposure risks to mercury. On Friday, in a draft report submitted to the Bush White House, the FDA indicated that they were planning not only to rescind that advice, but recommend that sensitive populations eat more mercury-contaminated fish.
“Talk about getting hooked on fish stories,” said Michael Bender, MPP, Director of the Mercury Policy Project, which just released a new case study exposure report. “FDA has really gone overboard this time by casting out the science and reeling in the industry ‘line’ instead,” Bender said, referring to an industry report released prior to the FDA report that reached strikingly similar conclusions. “Real people have been sickened by mercury in fish, demonstrating the importance of strong FDA advice on mercury in fish.” The new MPP report, Over the Limit, shares stories of people who each ate enough store-bought fish to suffer mercury’s effects, according to their physicians. From New Jersey to Wisconsin to California, these stories show that seafood contamination is a very real problem that should not be ignored.