According to the New York Times,
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.
Everyone gasped, and then patted themselves on the back, saying, “Well, we live on the west coast, so don’t have to worry!”. Then a week later a national study by Oceana, an international conservation group, issued a report that found the same problem nationwide.
Some of their key findings:
- Mercury levels in tuna were much higher than the FDA data suggest
- One-third of sushi tuna samples exceeded the FDA “action level” of 1 part per million
- Nearly 90 percent of seafood counter attendants either did not know the FDA advice about mercury in fish, or gave a wrong interpretation of this warning
- Two-thirds of swordfish tested were above the FDA “action level”, which would permit the administration to remove these fish from sale
As a follow up, on January 24th, The Times published a follow-up piece titled “Warnings Don’t Deter Lovers of Sushi“.
Scary stuff for those who eat lots of sushi, or fish in general. What do you think… will this effect how much fish you eat? How long will it be until one of our local papers checks up on local fish.