Contact Teri Shore, 415-883-8590, ext. 104, cell 707-583-4428
Today the First District Court of Appeal will be asked to reverse a
pro-industry ruling that blocked warning labels on mercury-laden
albacore and other canned tuna. The First District Court of Appeal will hear oral
arguments beginning at 9:30 am Tuesday, Jan. 27, in Division Four at
350 McAllister St., San Francisco.
Because mercury is
known by the state to cause reproductive harm and cancer and is found
in canned tuna, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit in 2004 to require
labeling under the warning requirements of Proposition 65, the state's
chemical "right-to-know" law.
"Mothers who put tuna in
their children's lunches are never warned that the fish contains
mercury," said Teri Shore, Program Director for the GotMercury.org
project of Turtle Island Restoration Network in Forest Knolls, CA.
"Let's hope this court puts people before tuna profits." Shore will
attend the court hearing and is available for interviews.
a free online mercury calculator where people can estimate mercury
exposure from fish and has won legal actions to require public warning
signs to be posted at seafood restaurants and stores in California. A
45-pound child eating one can of light tuna a week would be consuming
mercury at a level 40 percent higher than the U. S. Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended maximum allowable dose of
mercury. (See calculator at www.gotmercury.org.) Pregnant women and children are the most at risk for eating too much mercury in fish. See the public health advisory for mercury in fish.
Coast women have among the highest blood-mercury levels in the U. S.,
according to the EPA. As many as 630,000 or 15 percent of newborns in
the U.S. are at risk each year of neurological defects due to mercury
contamination, EPA studies have found. Mercury in the form of
methylmercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause slow growth and
lowered IQ, brain and kidney damage, cancer, and an increased risk of
heart disease, according to the EPA.
tuna and swordfish sold in the U. S. typically exceeds the FDA's for
mercury in commercial fish at 1 part per million mercury - which is
double the amount allowed by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
for recreational fish. The FDA has never developed a "safe level" for
mercury blood levels in people. The standard is based almost entirely
on faulty field research from a mercury poisoning in Iraq that never
safe levels for mercury exposure. This is documented in the new book "Diagnosis Mercury" by Dr. Jane Hightower of San Francisco. ____________________________________