We hate to say we told you so, but…well, we told you so. Today, a coalition of some of the nation’s most prominent women’s health experts publicized its recommendations for maternal seafood consumption. Their verdict: Pregnant and breast-feeding women need to eat at least 12 ounces of fish a week to ensure healthy brain development in their kids. And what about the trace levels of mercury found in exceedingly low levels in some fish? Spokeswoman Dr. Ashley Roman put it best in an interview with MSNBC:
A lot of the concern about mercury or consuming mercury in fish products is unfounded. To date, there’s not a single case of fetal toxicity linked directly to fish intake.
Finally, some common sense in the mercury-in-fish debate. As we’re telling the press today:
Green groups including Oceana, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Working Group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Mercury Policy Project owe millions of American moms and their babies a sincere apology. And the Environmental Protection Agency should join in that chorus …
Sadly, a public health tragedy still awaits us, but not from the fish on our plates. The real danger will come from unintended consequences of alarm bells, as moms deny their children the vital health benefits of seafood because of unfounded mercury fears.
For three years, we’ve been saying that the proven health benefits of eating fish far outweigh the hypothetical risks. Serious science clearly doesn’t support the prevailing panic, and we’re glad to see mainstream nutrition experts telling moms that the Great Mercury Scare belongs in the dustbin of history.