Something Fishy

Mercury WarningThe FDA released a report urging the Feds to give contaminated fish a break. After all, the cardiac benefits of eating fish versus a Big Mac are well documented.

As usual, the FDA misses the point in its recommendations.

As a reminder, the FDA are the same guys that recommended an “unsafe” DDT level in fish of 5 parts per million, well above the level for hazardous waste and over 50 times higher than EPA’s often cited recommended level. Why? The FDA balances economic impacts and public health on the backs of consumers.

I won’t get into the issue that the FDA is promoting widespread fish consumption with nary a nod towards the fact that many fish populations are collapsing due to overfishing. Sustainability is not an issue for the agency the way that protecting consumers from unsafe dietary supplements and imported food supplies is their responsibility. Ooops!!

The issue is that the FDA and the government should be telling us to ease up on the double doubles and to avoid mercury – and organochlorine-contaminated fish. Choosing mercury-contaminated tuna, swordfish or mackerel over a cholesterol bomb is not a solid recommendation, especially for pregnant women and kids. Even the Bush EPA is upset that the FDA is twisting the science to promote fish consumption.

Add another “correction” to Obama’s ever-lengthening list of 11th-hour environmental and public health travesties that need to be fixed in his first days of the presidency.

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