We only sell low-mercury seafood… so why do we care?
Vital Choice sells only clearly safe, low-mercury seafood, so we have little at stake in any debate over the risks and rewards of frequent fish-eating.
But we've stepped into the fray because there's been way too much heat... and not enough light... surrounding the emotionally fraught subject of fish and mercury.
Eco and consumer organizations raise ongoing alarms about mercury in fish—messages tied to their understandable desire to force a reduction in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants—and the big national tuna brands fund most of the rebuttal efforts.
Too often, both sides cherry-pick and mischaracterize the evidence... though eco-groups and consumer advocates have typically done the worst distorting.
We're dismayed when these folks raise wildly exaggerated mercury alarms and fail to mention the well-documented need for healthier protein sources in people's diets: primarily fish, plant foods, and high-omega-3 eggs (plus a bit of grass-fed meat or poultry).
In fact, the evidence shows that virtually all seafood delivers big health rewards at every age... and poses virtually no risks at any age.
For the few exceptions to this rule (four fish that can be exceptionally high in mercury), see the joint EPA-FDA guidance ...and remember that the petition being presented to the FDA seeks to raise the seafood intake limits in that 2004 document.
Brenna T, Crawford, M. Open letter to the US FDA Commissioner Urging Action on the 2009 FDA Draft Report. May 26, 2010. Accessed at https://docs.google.com/View?id=df3g99f6_136dq6b84gw
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2008. Draft - An Evaluation of Risks to U.S. Consumers from Methylmercury in Commercial Fish Products, including a quantitative assessment of risk and beneficial health effects from fish. Washington, DC: Food and Drug Administration.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Draft Risk and Benefit Assessment Report: Report of Quantitative Risk and Benefit Assessment of Consumption of Commercial Fish, Focusing on Fetal Neurodevelopmental Effects (Measured by Verbal Development in Children) and on Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke in the General Population. January 15, 2009. Accessed at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm088794.htm
U.S. Institute of Medicine - Food and Nutrition Board (IOMFNB). Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks. October 13, 2006. Accessed at www.iom.edu/