The Marin Independent Journal reported on the findings of the GotMercury.org’s Operation Safe Seafood: California. In the article, a spokesperson from the National Fisheries Institute which represents the $75 billion a year fishing industry was quoted claiming the FDA has a safety factor contained within its mercury action level. That is misleading and incorrect.
Scientific studies have measured adverse effects of even low-level mercury exposure on the developing brains of babies whose mothers ate fish just twice a week or less and found that the mercury levels still posed a risk to the babies. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin. There is no actual margin of safety.
From the article in the Marin Independent Journal:
In 2010 the group GotMercury.org of Forest Knolls conducted an undercover investigation in which it bought seafood from random grocery stores and restaurants across California.
An accredited testing laboratory then tested the samples for mercury, which can have subtle but damaging effects on the nervous system, particularly for a fetus and young children who are still developing. It can be passed from a mother to child through breast milk. Visual memory, fine motor skills, language and attention span can be affected.
“Mercury is a known neurotoxin,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox, author of the report. “Women and especially children should not be eating certain fish.”
Swordfish and ahi or yellowfin tuna showed the highest levels of mercury, according to the report. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s threshold is 1 part per million for commercial seafood and it can, in theory, pull seafood from shelves at that level.