Mercury Policy Project

Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure

Archive for the 'Fish and Seafood' Category

Ahead of UN treaty negotiation, reports show greater mercury risks than earlier thought

December 4th, 2012 by kris

The Zero Mercury Working Group, in cooperation with scientists from the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) and with other prominent scientists, organized a global webinar to release new findings that demonstrate extensive mercury contamination and summarize studies that show health effects from methylmercury occurring below the level that was considered “safe” just a few years ago. This comes ahead of the final round of United Nations negotiations, scheduled in January 2013, for a global mercury treaty. Slides from the webinar presentations are now available  along with the reports: BRI report; Dr. Groth’s report for ZMWG and ZMWG summary/recommendations.

Category: Events, Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | Comments Off on Ahead of UN treaty negotiation, reports show greater mercury risks than earlier thought

Tuna surprise: Hidden risk in school lunches

September 19th, 2012 by kris

Over the past decade, awareness about the risks of mercury in certain fish has increased and pregnant women in particular have been alerted to shop carefully and a recent study indicates that over one-third of American’s mercury exposure is from tuna.  But what about the risks from fish children consume at school?  In it’s 2011 Annual Report to the Governor, Legislature and Citizens of the State of Vermont, the state mercury advisory committee recommended:  “….collaboration between the Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Education to communicate with Vermont schools and raise awareness among faculty, staff, and parents about the methyl mercury exposure risk to young children of consuming excessive amounts of tuna fish in school lunch programs,” see:  page 2 and 5 of the 2011 report. To further investigate this, MPP announced today in a statement that it is co-releasing with other groups a first ever report on testing for mercury in tuna sold to schools,  “Tuna Surprise,” which received extensive  media coverage.

Category: Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Press Releases, Reports, US | Comments Off on Tuna surprise: Hidden risk in school lunches

US, EU, Canada urged to support health provision in mercury treaty

July 6th, 2012 by kris

Joined by the EU, Canada and other developed countries, the U.S. opposed a separate health provision during the fourth (of five) mercury treaty negotiation earlier this week in Punta del Este, Uruguay.  “This is an example of north–south double standard over whether health issues will be addressed equitably,” stated Michael Bender , MPP director, who provided a statement on behalf of the Zero Mercury Working Group during the negotiation. “Mercury is a basic human rights issue. Health strategies to address reducing exposure to mercury must be included in this treaty.”

Category: Academic Projects, Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Developing World, Environmental Justice, Fish and Seafood, International, Press Releases, UNEP, US | Comments Off on US, EU, Canada urged to support health provision in mercury treaty

Treaty time running out to address the global mercury crisis

July 2nd, 2012 by kris

Governments meeting at the 4th of 5 negotiations are running out of time to address key issues before finalizing a legally binding treaty on mercury. Most major issues remain unresolved and the Zero Mercury Working Group expressed concern over the lack of progress at such a late stage. “There has been no substantial progress on the biggest sources of mercury pollution nor in reconciling the different positions of governments,” said Michael Bender, ZMWG co-coordinator.  Issues as straightforward as the phase out of mercury in products and processes and supply and trade did not progress any better, according to Bender. Barely visible in the draft treaty text are core requirements for the environmentally sound management of mercury, which are contingent on future decisions, and the issue of contaminated sites has only been minimally addressed.

Category: Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Developing World, Fish and Seafood, International, Press Releases, UNEP | Comments Off on Treaty time running out to address the global mercury crisis

Promoting ‘bounty’ collections for mercury-added products

February 3rd, 2012 by kris

State and national groups, including MPP,  are pushing states to enact strong’ bounty’ programs to increase collection of mercury products such as thermostats.  In Maine, we recently  wrote to block the push by DEP to eliminate a landmark producer responsibility laws for mercury, as it  appears that industry has had undue influence without allowing other stakeholders to participate in the review progress.  In California,  we recently  wrote the environmental agency,  urging them to provides for the maximum feasible number of mercury thermostats collected, consistent with the Legislature’s intent.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Mercury Products, US | Comments Off on Promoting ‘bounty’ collections for mercury-added products

3rd Mercury Negotiation in Nairobi

October 21st, 2011 by kris

Leading up to the third Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee meeting in in Nairobi (31 Oct.- 4 Nov.), MPP director Bender will give a presentation tomorrow on ZMWG initiatives to reduce mercury globall at an international conference on environmental diplomacy and security.

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Events, Exports, Fish and Seafood, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, Hg in skin cosmetics, International, Mercury and Climate Change, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, Storage, UNEP, US | Comments Off on 3rd Mercury Negotiation in Nairobi

WHO/FAO “Experts” Fails to Inform Nations About Mercury Exposure

October 4th, 2011 by kris

The findings of a new WHO/FAO Report on Benefits and Risks of Seafood Consumption were challenged today by MPP as missing a key opportunity to advise governments about mercury risk from fish consumption. “Surprisingly, this expert group failed to address exposure concerns about fish with higher mercury levels, which have led to consumption advisories in the U.S. and around the world,” said MPP director Bender, in a statement “The concept of ‘net benefits’ is severely flawed, because benefits accrue to everyone who eats seafood, but risks are concentrated in the small fraction of the population who regularly choose high-mercury fish,” said Dr. Ned Groth, an MPP science consultant. “It is not acceptable to tolerate significant harm to a minority just because the large majority are better off.”

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Environmental Justice, Events, Fish and Seafood, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Press Releases, Reports, UNEP | Comments Off on WHO/FAO “Experts” Fails to Inform Nations About Mercury Exposure

Scientists ask USG to correct advice on tuna

June 29th, 2011 by kris

 

12 scientists recently wrote FDA and the Ag Dept. requesting that misleading or erroneos information on mercury exposure risks from fish be corrected and update in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Unfortunately, the advice in the 2010 Guidelines includes the suggestion (on page 39 ) that pregnant women “can eat all types of tuna,” despite the fact that tuna accounts for the largest share of methylmercury in the American diet, contributing 37 percent of the total. They point out that the Guidelines contain serious scientific deficiencies and that any risk-communication errors could affect consumer perceptions of the risks associated with fish consumption and potentially result in significant harm to public health, particulary in pregnant women.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Reports | Comments Off on Scientists ask USG to correct advice on tuna

Vermont legislature passes EPR lamps bill!

May 6th, 2011 by kris

On Thursday, the Vermont legislature passed a bill creating an extended producer responsibility recycling program for mercury-containing light bulbs and setting mercury content standards, modeled after the EU.     Pending the Governor’s approval, Vermont will become the third state to establish such a program, following a law first passed in Maine (supported by a report– also see fact sheet) and then a second in Washington, where a weblink explains it.  “This law will help continue an important lamp recycling program.” said Senator Virginai Lyons  (D-Chittenden), lead sponsor of the legislation.  “Protecting our waterways and other natural resources from mercury exposure is vitally important,” said Representative David Deen (D-Windham-5).   More information on the retail  lamp collection program is available  here.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Green Lighting, Press Releases, Reports, US | Comments Off on Vermont legislature passes EPR lamps bill!

USDA Urged To Reduce Mercury Exposure Risks in Schools & WIC Programs

July 14th, 2010 by kris

A  key U.S. House Committee today adopted an amendment  offered by Congressman Dennis Kucinich  to H.R. 5504, which requires USDA to inform schools and those in WIC programs to avoid higher mercury fish.  “There is no reason for the government to help kids grow up healthy with one hand while impairing them with the other,” said Kucinich.  In addition, MPP and Got Mercury! recently filed comments on the USDA’s draft Committee Report , outlining steps to reduce mercury exposure.

Category: Environmental Justice, Fish and Seafood, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, US | Comments Off on USDA Urged To Reduce Mercury Exposure Risks in Schools & WIC Programs