Filed Under: Food Scares Seafood

Tuna-Mercury Legal Follies, Take Two

Last May, when a judge ruled against California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s attempt to force mercury "warning" labels on cans of tuna, we thought we’d heard the last of this ridiculous case. Silly us. California Superior Court Judge Robert Dondero found that only the federal government has the power to scare us about traces of mercury in fish and that virtually all of the low levels of mercury in fish are "naturally occurring." But that was then, and this is now. A new Attorney General — former Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown — has taken up residence in Sacramento, and he wants another bite at the albacore. (To read our summaries of the May 2006 legal smackdown, click here,here,here,here, and here.)The Canadian Press news agency reports that Brown’s office will appeal Judge Dondero’s ruling. So, as a public service to the incoming Attorney General, we’d like to offer him and his deputies unlimited use of the Internet’s best repository of practical information about mercury in fish: (We also encourage Brown’s minions to bone up on news from the recent International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant by clicking here,here,here,and here.)As the second round of the fish-mercury follies progresses, we’ll keep you informed about the smoke, mirrors, and rabbit holes the California government employs to muddy the waters. And when the California Court of Appeals reaffirms the safety of fish — a conclusion already supported by the Institute of Medicine (clickhere, here, and here) and a recentlandmark Harvard study — we’ll tell you about that too.

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