When food cops and activists aren’t making us feel guilty about our food choices, they’re working hard to scare us away from foods they don’t want us to eat—including some of the healthiest fare out there. We’ve been burning up the opinion pages lately, and today’s entry is an op-ed responding to the Holy Grail of green group fear-mongering: the mercury-in-fish scare.
We were reacting to a powerful new study from Harvard University scientists. They found that mothers who ate the most seafood during their pregnancies had babies who scored the highest on developmental tests. This result flies in the face of activist-driven conventional wisdom, but it has the virtue of actually being true. In fact, only the women in this study who ate more fish than the federal government recommends were able to pass on a health benefit to their unborn babies.
From yesterday’s Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Virginia:
Scientific experts have been telling us for years that the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in fish far outweigh the risks associated with consuming the trace amounts of mercury which have always been in fish. Unfortunately, much of that advice has been counterbalanced by a handful of noisy activists. These alarmists have exploited understandable concerns about contamination to hijack a national debate about food safety.
Anti-seafood groups like Oceana and Greenpeace are driven by political ideology, not human health. Some are interested in shutting down coal-fired power plants. Others want to promote vegetarianism…
Public health debates should be brought back into the hands of scientific experts. Our government’s seafood guidelines should be amended to reflect the healthfulness of eating seafood. And American women of childbearing age should be running toward the fish counter, not away from it.