Press Release

Deeply Flawed “Toxic Sushi” Report Misleads Los Angelenos

Los Angeles — This morning an environmental group called the Sea Turtle Restoration Project issued a report claiming that “toxic” levels of mercury in sushi makes almost all tuna unsafe for women and children to eat. This conclusion indicates a glaring lack of scientific knowledge about the meaning of the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory level for mercury in fish.

The FDA has set a mercury “Action Level” of 1.0 part-per-million in fish, but the agency has written that this level “was established to limit consumers’ methyl mercury exposure to levels 10 times lower than the lowest levels associated with adverse effects.”

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project continues to ignore this built-in safety margin of 1,000 percent. Unless a piece of fish contains 10.0 (ten) parts-per-million of mercury, eating it will not expose Americans to a known health risk. The highest-mercury sample described in today’s report registered just 1.01 parts-per-million, or about one-tenth the level associated with adverse effects.

David Martosko, Director of Research at the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, said: “Scaring consumers away from the health benefits of fish with no good reason is plainly irresponsible. Today’s misleading sushi survey ignored the ten-fold safety levels built into the FDA’s mercury advice. The Sea Turtle Restoration Project didn’t identify a single piece of fish that would be harmful to anyone. Sounding health alarms about mercury levels this low is like worrying about driving a car at one-tenth the speed limit.”

For additional information about scientifically-challenged activists who are needlessly scaring Americans away from their fish, visit

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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