Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mercury. The New Chic Food

The New York Times reports on the high mercury levels in sushi:

Recent laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sushi from 5 of the 20 places had mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market. The sushi was bought by The New York Times in October.

"No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks," said Dr. Michael Gochfeld, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J.

The article then goes on the usual way about individual responsibility: Pregnant women and children should avoid canned tuna, don'tchaknow! Even non-pregnant adults might get sick of the mercury! And what's wrong with these restaurants, anyway?

What is not mentioned except just quickly in passing are two things:

No government agency regularly tests seafood for mercury.


Mercury enters the environment as an industrial pollutant.

These two issues are the most important ones, sadly. But even in an article like this they are too frightening to really properly discuss and digest. Like mercury, I guess.