The environmental scare group Oceana is at it again, claiming that mercury levels in anglers at last year’s Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo put their health in jeopardy (“Hair tests detect higher mercury levels in anglers, “July 18). But nothing could be further from the truth.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s mercury “reference dose” is not a cutoff between “safe” and “unsafe.” It actually has a 1,000 percent safety cushion built in. People would have to exceed this level by a factor of 10 – throughout their entire lives, not just in a single sample – before any mercury-related health effects would be observable.

Trying to scare Alabamians away from Gulf-caught fish is irresponsible. Fish has always been a health food.