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Global Consensus on Mercury: Scientists Defend Science Journalists
Date:2/4/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mercury has again been in the news with the release of new data on mercury levels in tuna sushi by the New York Times and Oceana/Mercury Policy Project study. While the results were startling -- around 1 of 3 pieces of tuna tested had levels above FDA's action level of 1 PPM -- the attack by special interests against those covering the news was swift and erroneous. Seemingly, according to these special interests, everyone including pregnant women and children could eat as much high mercury fish as they wanted, without any risk. In response, 29 mercury experts from 11 countries signed on to the following open letter to set the record straight.

February 1, 2008

There is no longer a need to debate whether the writings of journalists such as Ms. Sharon Begley (Newsweek) and Ms. Marian Burros (New York Times) are credible or biased, because there is a global consensus among scientists addressing the toxicity of mercury, its sources and the implications of both on public health. This consensus has been documented and is available to the public. As it turns out, their writings are consistent with that consensus.

Many of us joined over 1,000 of the world's foremost mercury experts for the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant. Together we developed a consensus declaration that addresses some of the specific points that have been raised here and elsewhere in the discussion around the New York Times article and the Oceana/Mercury Policy Project study. Many of us also have published peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject.

While the consensus declaration was not cause for tremendous alarm, it clearly highlighted the need to recognize that mercury levels in fish are cause for concern and that sensitive populations should choose low mercury fish in order to get the benefits of seafood while avoiding the risks of mercury. The consensus included the following points summariz
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SOURCE Mercury Policy Project
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