Remember back in March, when actor and “Sushigate” star Jeremy Piven went to Miami and “dined on calamari salad and tuna tartare surrounded by a cadre of women”? According to an article in today’s People magazine, Piven says he’s been fish-free for 10 months. He has also given some really bad advice to expecting moms. Will Piven’s fish farce ever end?
As a general rule, Hollywood actors aren’t ideal sources for nutritional words of wisdom. But as we show in the new and updated version of our “Tuna Meltdown” report, statements like this are the equivalent of public health malpractice:
"By the way, for the record, it’s the not the fish’s fault," Piven says. "It’s a man-made problem. It’s all the mercury being dumped. Women shouldn’t eat tuna, especially when you’re pregnant."
But here’s what a large majority of the world’s leading experts on mercury in seafood said last week at the Ninth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Guiyang, China.
Evidence suggests that normal consumption of ocean fish does not introduce novel health risks to adults, children, or developing fetuses.
Evidence suggests that the well documented health benefits associated with omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients outweigh health risks from methylmercury exposure.
Most of the methylmercury in marine (ocean) fish originates with natural processes, and is not the direct result of human activity.
It would be a good public health outcome if governments urged consumers to eat more fish in general, rather than focusing on the promotion of some fish species over others.
Mercury campaigns and government warnings have the unintended consequence of reducing seafood consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged people. This is a bad public-health outcome.
So according to international experts, most methylmercury isn’t “man-made,” it’s not a novel health “problem” for women or developing fetuses, and everyone should be consuming more omega-3s, which are plentiful in canned tuna.
Looks like Piven just struck out.
For our complete coverage of last week’s ICMGP conference and the updated “Tuna Meltdown” report [PDF], check out MercuryFacts.com.