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About tuna and mercury....

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  • About tuna and mercury....

    This busy body son of a bitch needs to find something better to do with his time....Warning labels on tunafish...gimme a break

    By Michael Kinsman
    June 22, 2004

    California Attorney General Bill Lockyer sued the nation's three largest tuna canners yesterday for failing to warn consumers that albacore and light tuna contain mercury that the state says can cause reproductive harm and cancer.

    Lockyer filed suit against Bumble Bee Seafoods, Starkist and Chicken of the Sea in San Francisco Superior Court, seeking to prohibit the sale of canned tuna in California that doesn't contain a warning. The state said potential alternatives include signs posted in grocery aisles or labels placed on cans.

    Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea, based in San Diego, and San Francisco-based Starkist account for 86 percent of the nation's canned tuna sales.

    The $1.5 billion canned tuna industry was quick to fire back.
    David Burney, executive director of the U.S. Tuna Foundation, said the state is mistakenly trying to regulate foods when that duty should be left to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    "We're disappointed the state felt compelled to file suit," he said. "All fish have trace amounts of methylmercury – it's a naturally occurring phenomenon. But we believe tuna is a healthy part of people's diet, and we're not about to put a skull and crossbones on our cans."

    Burney said the tuna industry would challenge the state's suit in court and believes it will prevail.

    Lockyer's suit said methylmercury has been listed as a chemical known to cause cancer since 1996. The suit was filed under the provisions of Proposition 65, a 1986 ballot initiative that requires businesses to provide "clear and reasonable" warnings before exposing people to known carcinogens or reproductive toxins.

    "This is a crucial public health issue," Lockyer said in a statement. "Prenatal exposure to mercury can cause serious disabilities in infants and children. We're not trying to eliminate tuna from people's diets. We're trying to enforce the law and protect the health and safety of California women and children."
    The suit seeks civil penalties of up to $2,500 per day for each violation, dating to 2000.

    Lockyer's suit said exposure to mercury poses health risks to all people, but particularly to pregnant women and children. Prenatal and infant exposure can cause mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness and developmental and learning disabilities, the state said.

    In March, the FDA and the federal Environmental Protection Agency warned pregnant and nursing women about fish consumption, with the U.S. Tuna Foundation quickly following with an educational campaign about eating fish.

    That campaign included ads saying that fish, including tuna, was an important part of a healthy diet. The ads said that pregnant and nursing women could eat up to 12 ounces of fish containing low amounts of mercury, including canned tuna, that they could safely eat up to six ounces per week of canned albacore and that they should avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel because they have higher amounts of mercury.

    Chris Lischewski, president of Bumble Bee, said that misinformation about methylmercury effects had damaged the tuna industry and he cautioned that the state's proposed warning labels would alarm consumers.

    "There has never been a case of methylmercury poisoning in the United States due to seafood," he said. "The levels of methylmercury in tuna are trace. They exist, but only in very minute amounts.

    "Our concern is that any kind of warning that is not supplemented by an educational program will chase people away from eating tuna. That's not right. Tuna is a good, healthy food."
    Last year, Lockyer filed suits against major grocery and restaurant chains for failing to post warnings about mercury in fresh or frozen share, swordfish and tuna. Those cares are pending in San Francisco Superior Court.
    Heckman aka "WISE" OLD MAN

  • #2
    Some people have entirely too much of nothing to do!!!
    "Well done is better than well said"



    • #3
      I can't believe this is what taxpayer $$$ is being spent on...fighting the war on mercury laced tuna!!! Don't they know there is more important things to go after, like that killing machine ephedra!!!

      what a bunch of jackasses.