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Mercury and your Tuna

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posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 09:18 AM

Fish canners challenge mercury-labeling suit State wants makers to warn of dangers on tuna packages

Food industry and health groups nationwide are closely watching a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court that will reach a milestone Friday when a judge hears state attorneys claim that big canners are breaking the law by failing to tell consumers about mercury in tuna fish.

Not so, say lawyers for defendants StarKist, Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee. Their popular product makes a delicious and healthful sandwich, and doesn't fall under the purview of Proposition 65, the initiative passed by voters 20 years ago to rid toxic substances in consumer products, food and water, they say.

The state sued in 2004 under Prop. 65 to force the tuna canners to warn of the risks of mercury, a potent neurotoxin. The companies already face penalties of $2,500 a day per violation dating back to June 2000, and the amount is growing every day as they refuse to warn, state attorneys say.



Group warns of high levels of mercury in sushi

LOS ANGELES – Sushi is more popular than ever, but eating it "has become the new Russian roulette" in terms of safety, a group campaigning against mercury in fish said Monday.

Eli Saddler of, a campaign of California-based Sea Turtle Restoration Project, went to six top sushi restaurants in Los Angeles to test mercury levels in the fish they serve.

"The level of mercury in tuna these restaurants serve is so high they should be keeping this food off their lists," Saddler said.


And, of course, this wouldn't be a surprise...

One in five U.S. women has high mercury levels

In February, the Environmental Quality Institute released interim results [152KB PDF]from a nationwide mercury hair-sampling project that should raise concerns with potential mothers. Written by a group led by the institute’s co-director, Steven Patch of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, the report shows that slightly more than 20% of women of childbearing age had higher concentrations than the U.S. EPA’s recommended limit of 1 microgram of mercury per gram of hair (µg/g). Although more men than women were found to have high mercury levels, experts worry more about women of childbearing age because studies have found that exposure to mercury during pregnancy causes neurological abnormalities in children.

So far, Patch and his colleagues have tested hair samples from more than 6500 volunteers. The researchers say that their data “indicate a consistent and strong positive relationship between mercury in hair and total fish consumption.”


See also, The Risk of Eating Farmed Salmon


Man, is nothing safe?

(BTW, I felt certain I had done a previous thread on Tuna and Mercury, but for the life of me, I can't find it. Oh well....
The more the merrier, eh? )

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 11:28 AM

Man, is nothing safe?

It sure seems that way. This is interesting news especially when the world population is being told to stock up on canned tuna incase of a flu pandemic or other disaster.

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 11:53 AM
So should one stop eating tuna in the can altogether? I eat it regularly for lunch. Does the mercury come from the cannning process or does it come from the ocean? Can you get your mercury level tested? If you did would the doctor even tell you what he/she found? Is there no way to escape the poisoning?

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 01:20 PM
The mercury comes from the environment.

In fact, all 'fatty' fish, can contain mercury from the environment. Mackeral and Swordfish are the worst.

To me, it seems that both sides are spinning the facts and the media is sensationalizing.

That doesn't mean that there isn't some risk.

Depending on weight, 2-4 cans of tuna a week is what they recommend. Unless it's White Albacore then it's 1 can every week to ten days. The older the fish, the more mercury, and regular tuna is usually young fish while white albacore is older.

Want the numbers yourself to look over? Here:

5.66% were over the Reference Dose.

And Mercury testing is easy and can be done with urine, blood or hair. Though, if I found high levels in a hair sample I'd have blood and/or urine tests done as well.

And you can even have tests done online:

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 01:38 PM
Theres a "recommended level"???

You've got to be kidding me...

How about ZERO??

Mercury causes people to go totally insane....
Perhaps this is one of the causes of our society's current ills?


posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 02:01 PM
Sort of weird wanting to bring a lawsuit to those who bring us tuna for our sandwiches. After all they did not make the tuna, all they do is package it.

Don't blame the canners for stuff people should already know, blame and sue those who put that much mercury into the air to cause this problem in the first place.
After all, the canners don't add the freakin' mercury!

posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 10:07 PM

Cloned pigs are porky and best, say scientists

Researchers say they have created cloned piglets that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the oil that is prized as being beneficial to the heart.

Omega-3 is mostly found in fish, but this supply is threatened by overtrawling and clouded by worries about mercury pollution, which accumulates in fish livers.

A team led by Yifan Dai of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine transferred into foetal pig cells a gene called fat-1 that had been identified in a well-studied lab animal, a tiny worm known as Caenorhabditis elegans.

Fat-1 converts the abundant but less desirable omega-6 fatty acids into the coveted omega-3.

Of course, I love this part:

Given that the animals are experimental -- not to say extraordinarily expensive -- no one knows what their meat tastes like, whether it is safe to eat and whether the piglets will retain high levels of omega-3 when they reach adulthood.

Nonetheless, you can be certain we will see this new other genetically-modified-but-deemed-safe-fish-alternative-except-in-twenty-years-when-they-discover-it's-bad-for-you-white-meat in the marketplace...

[edit on 26-3-2006 by loam]

posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 08:43 PM
You know how manufacturers build planned obsolesence
into consumer products?

...They will do it with GM food and pigs too...

No more natural legal breeding.

posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 09:17 PM
Ah, mercury. Sweetest of the transition metals... mmmmm

Its weird that people with High Seafood Consumption diets the Japanese for example are actually pretty healthly overall. Infact they have virtually no mental problems and disorders which is a prominent sign of Mercury poisoning. Its not like Japan is clean its infact far more polluted than most Western nations.

Theres been recent studies that attribute the high green tea consumption of these people as the reason they have very low mercury levels while eating so many fish with mercury. There something about Green tea, I forgot exaclty what its reported to do though.

[edit on 30-3-2006 by ShadowXIX]

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 10:17 PM
Well, actually the bad effects of MeHg were first recognized in Minamata, Japan in the 1950's.

Mercury is converted to methylmercury by bacteria which is then able to accumulate in fish which can then continue to accumulate (as previously explained why older fish can contain higher levels) as they work their way up the food chain to people.

For some reason, there has been an increase in the incidence of the MeHg developmental toxicant in Iraqi infants in the past few years (Northwest Hazardard Waste Conference, Toxic Threats to Child Development 4-13-04).

Recently (Dec 2005), the GAO (06-99) published it's finding that the "EPA Needs to Clarify the Types of Mercury Waste That Can Be Treated and Disposed of Using the Debris Regulations". This is helpful toward understanding why so much of this stuff finds it way into the water.

I know this gets off topic, but this thread isn't very cumbersome so I'm going to go ahead and mention an odd coincidence:

The GAO report (page 17) refers to a commercial hazardous waste landfill in Beatty, NV (down near Las Vegas). This week the DOD pre-announced a 700 tonne bomb test to be done in June. There is already a discussion about that release which seems to be focused primarily on whether or not it's a nuclear device and/or whether it's politically for the benefit of Iran.

One member (Qwas on page 4) wonders whether or not it might be to destroy something already there. I was wondering the same thing and was glad to see someone mention it, but was a little disheartend by the lack of response to it. Anyway, seemed worth mentioning - and I noticed one of the experienced contributors here was also on that other one.

posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 08:12 AM

New warning for canned tuna: Mercury risk for pregnant women too high, Consumer Reports says

The chance that canned tuna will contain high levels of mercury is great enough that pregnant women should never eat it, according to new recommendations from a leading consumer group...

The newspaper reported late last year that about 15 percent of canned light tuna--the kind of tuna touted by the FDA as a low-mercury option--is made with a species that often contains high amounts of the toxic metal.

FDA officials later revealed that 6 percent of canned light tuna sampled between 2001 and 2005 had mercury levels that exceeded the average in canned albacore tuna, which the federal government tells pregnant women and young children to limit eating because it tends to have high levels of mercury.

In a two-page article in the July issue of Consumer Reports, the consumer group also urged pregnant women to shun four other kinds of seafood because of mercury concerns--Chilean sea bass, halibut, American lobster and Spanish mackerel.


And the list grows.....

[edit on 7-6-2006 by loam]

posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 11:42 AM
i'd like to add that the origin of these high mercury levels isn't necessarily seafood (although it's certainly contributing). only a few percent of ingested mercury are eventually absorbed, there are defensive mechanisms built into the body, so high mercury levels are a sign of continual overexposure. The answer is of course a drastic crackdown on all mercury polluters and a cleanup campaign for heavily contaminated sites (at the polluter's expense, of course).

Besides, there's always a chance the pharma industry is just trying to cover their butts by blaming the autism epidemic on environmental mercury exposure.... the problem is the old mercury containing shots are 1000 times worse than any seafood, because they contain a different variant (ethyl- instead of methyl- mercury) and are absorbed 100%.


[edit on 7-6-2006 by Long Lance]

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