Sign up to receive email updates, action alerts, health tips, promotions to support our work and more from EWG. You can opt-out at any time. [Privacy]

 

Blowing the whistle on FDA plan to push mercury-laced seafood

December 2008

EWG made public internal government documents disclosing the Food and Drug Administration's secret plans to reverse federal warnings that pregnant women and children limit their fish intake to avoid mercury, a neurotoxin especially dangerous to the fetus and infants. EWG obtained both the FDA plan, stamped "CLOSE HOLD," and memos by senior Environmental Protection Agency scientists attacking FDA's rationale. The Washington Post broke the story, and other national stories followed.

Reaction from Capitol Hill was swift and sharp. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., denounced FDA: "Now, in the administration's 11th hour, they are quietly trying to water down advisories for women and children about the dangers of mercury in fish, disregarding sound science on this issue….This backroom bouquet for special interests should be stopped in its tracks. If they slip this through, I will work with the incoming Obama Administration to restore science-based decisions on mercury."

Key Issues, Toxics, Health Concerns: