Press Release

Statement of the Center for Consumer Freedom on new Seychelles Islands mercury-fish findings

Washington, DC — During this weekend’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, University of Rochester pediatrics professor Dr. Philip Davidson reported that after nearly 16 years of study, his research team has found no negative neurological effects in children of Seychelles Islands women who were exposed to high levels of mercury from prenatal fish intake. In fact, Seychelles teens whose mothers had the highest prenatal mercury exposure performed the best on some developmental tests.

David Martosko, Director of Research at the Center for Consumer Freedom said: “This is good news for American consumers. The health benefits of eating fish are well documented, while over-hyped risks from trace amounts of mercury remain unproven.

“Seychelles mothers eat ten times as much fish as American women, and their children perform as well on cognitive tests as kids whose mothers digest far less mercury. This should come as no surprise. Women of child-bearing age in Japan also eat nearly ten times the amount of fish as their American counterparts, and Japanese children routinely outperform American kids in math and science.

“Some environmental organizations have refused to accept the Seychelles Islands team’s findings, because they may dampen the climate of hysteria that helps green groups raise money. They point to an unrelated study, conducted in the Faroe Islands, which claims to have found subtle cognitive deficits in children whose mothers had high mercury exposure. But the Faroe population gets most of its dietary mercury from pilot whale meat, which is contaminated with such a wide variety of other pollutants that it’s unrealistic to associate specific health outcomes with mercury alone. By contrast, Seychelles residents — like most Americans — don’t lunch on Moby Dick sandwiches.

“Some hysterical environmental groups are fond of telling tall tales of mercury-damaged children and endangered pregnancies, but their fifteen minutes are up. Groups like Oceana, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Working Group should abandon their poisoned rhetoric on fish and apologize for issuing one baseless warning after another.

“Consumers would have to eat a truly massive amount of fish before mercury could pose a health hazard. The Seychelles population averages 12 fish meals per week, and these are the same kind of fish that Americans eat every day. Scientists continue to find no negative health outcomes associated with their diet. It’s ridiculous to think we will fare any worse.”

Learn more about mercury hype and try the Internet’s only
realistic mercury-fish calculator at

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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