Washington — Today a landmark study published in JAMA (the journal of the American Medical Association) will remind doctors that well-known “benefits of fish intake exceed the potential risks.” And the Institute of Medicine (IOM, a division of the National Academy of Sciences) will release an in-depth report advising consumers about how to make smart seafood choices.

The IOM report will be unveiled this morning. The JAMA study, written by two Harvard professors and funded by the National Institutes of Health, concludes that if Americans avoid fish consumption because of “confusion” about hypothetical health risks, it “could result in thousands of excess coronary heart disease deaths annually and suboptimal neurodevelopment in children.”

Anticipating a new scientific consensus that steering clear of fish can have devastating health consequences, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) today called on environmental activists worldwide — including the leaders of Oceana, the Mercury Policy Project, EarthShare, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest — to abandon their alarmist campaigns aimed at scaring Americans away from fish.

CCF Director of Research David Martosko made the following statement:

“Environmental activists and self-appointed public-health watchdogs have got to stop scaring Americans away from seafood. Eating fish has always been healthier than not eating fish. Preaching otherwise is reckless and puts consumers’ health in jeopardy.

“It’s particularly disturbing to see groups like Oceana and the Center for Science in the Public Interest agitating for mandatory health warnings wherever fish are sold. Foods that help us steer clear of heart disease and promote healthy brain development in children should be exempt from the skull-and-crossbones treatment.

“Americans who are wary of eating fish should stop listening to green groups and tune in to what scientists are saying. Fish is a health food. It always was. And the theoretical health risks from trace amounts of mercury are far outweighed by the proven health benefits in every salmon fillet, halibut steak, or can of tuna.”

To learn more about fish safety and mercury hype, visit www.MercuryFacts.org.