Santa Cruz Sentinel reports on’s findings: twenty one percent of Santa Cruz area grocery store swordfish and tuna high in mercury

By December 10, 2010Got Mercury?

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported on the findings of’s investigation of Santa Cruz, California grocery store swordfish and tuna.  Part of the nation-wide project, Operation Safe Seafood, found twenty one percent of the samples contained dangerously high levels of mercury.

“There’s some very serious health consequences to mercury exposure at these levels,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox, campaign coordinator for “Some people are highly sensitive, and not even just long-term exposure but short-term exposure can cause serious problems.


Mercury, which naturally concentrates in nearly all fish but more so in larger ones like swordfish and tuna, has been linked to brain and nervous system disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises children and pregnant women to avoid or limit high-mercury foods.

The testing done by, while limited, included eight Santa Cruz County supermarkets where the group made a single purchase of swordfish and/or tuna, depending on availability, then sent the samples to an Emeryville lab for analysis.”

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