Press Release

California Government Appeals Landmark Tuna-Mercury Decision on Tuesday Morning

San Francisco—On Tuesday morning a California judicial panel will hear oral arguments in the appeal of a 2006 verdict that placed canned tuna outside the reach of California’s “Proposition 65” law. The case established that the trace levels of mercury in canned tuna are naturally occurring, and too insignificant to require warning labels.

The trial judge also found that the Food and Drug Administration’s seafood consumption advice trumped California’s attempts to require warning labels on tuna.

David Martosko, the Director of Research for the Center for Consumer Freedom (a food-issues nonprofit based in Washington, DC), will be at the courthouse on Tuesday morning to witness the appellate arguments, and is available for interviews.

In a new report titled “Tuna Meltdown,” the Center for Consumer Freedom found that since 2000, over a quarter-million underprivileged American children were born at risk of having abnormally low IQs because their low-income mothers were scared to eat fish during their pregnancies. This, says the Center, is partially the result of exaggerated government mercury warnings.

In anticipation of the hearing, Mr. Martosko said: “The original outcome of this case was a huge victory for consumers. The trial judge decided that giving fish the skull-and-crossbones treatment, as California wants to do, would cause more harm than good. He was right.”

“Oily fish like tuna and salmon are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are something of a super-nutrient. And in study after study, scientists are rediscovering that the health benefits of eating fish far outweigh any hypothetical risks. For the state of California to press its case for warning labels on what amounts to a health food is truly shameful, and amounts to public-health malpractice.”

Oral argument will take place at 9:30am on Tuesday, January 27 in the First District Court of Appeal (Division Four); 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

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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