Writing about conflicting messages on the healthfulness of fish, Marian Burros missed the entire point of our FishScam.com.site (“Eating Well: Advisories on Fish and the Pitfalls of Good Intent,” Feb. 15). We stand by our conclusion that risks from trace amounts of mercury in fish are overblown and hyped.
Ms. Burros also appears to lack a real appreciation of how the E.P.A. and F.D.A. craft health advisories. Both agencies include a tenfold safety margin, ensuring that Americans (including pregnant women) who exceed published “safe” mercury levels are protected by a 1,000 percent cushion. The resulting hypercautionary numbers are used in warnings to the public.
As a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, the Center for Consumer Freedom is concerned that Americans will overreact to overprotective government warnings because they lack this important information.
A robust body of science about the benefits of omega-3 fats reinforces the idea that avoiding fish carries greater health risks than eating it. Painting this kind of responsible risk assessment as an industry conspiracy (while publicly making assumptions about who funds our work) serves no one.