Is There Too Much Mercury in Our Seafood? | NBC Bay Area

Is There Too Much Mercury in Our Seafood?



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    SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 23: Packages of Maguro (bluefin) tuna sashimi are seen on display at the Nijiya Market January 23, 2008 in San Francisco, California. According to a newspaper report, a new study found that samples of bluefin tuna sashimi contained high levels of mercury in several New York City restaurants. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    A local public health advocacy group which has been collecting seafood samples from California grocery stores, says much of the fish being sold contains high levels of mercury, reports the Chronicle.

    The group, out of San Francisco, says, "They are selling food with high levels of mercury - levels the federal government says are too high for children and pregnant women to eat," said Buffy Martin Tarbox, lead author of the research. "And consumers have no idea."

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    Representatives of the multi-billion-a-year seafood industries argues the claim, stating the group, which is part of an environmental organization called Turtle Island Restoration Network, is trying to throw a wrench in the industry's business.

    "They want to cut down on seafood consumption so the sea turtles don't end up as bycatch," said Gavin Gibbons, spokesman for the National Fisheries Institute, the Washington, D.C., seafood trade group. "It's detrimental to public health and it's cloaked as helping the public."