Internal documents reveal that the FDA is failing in its public health obligation to warn pregnant women about mercury in tuna.
Focus Pocus: Table 2: The FDA withholds information from pregnant women on mercury-contaminated fish, citing "focus groups" as justification
Only 7 individual remarks in all 267 pages of final focus group transcripts support FDA's claims.
|Focus group participant||Context of remark or type of person who made the remark||What the participant said||Reference|
|Monica||Pregnant woman||"...if you can eat enough of the low to make it medium or high. I probably won't eat any type of seafood for the rest of my pregnancy...and I will be an advocate out there telling all pregnant women, stay away from fish."||2 (pg 40)|
|Name not given||Pregnant woman||"Right. That's why I said: I just wouldn't eat any fish at all, period. You never know how much of the low that you eat could be high."||2 (pp 47-8)|
|Shawna||Pregnant woman||"I'm going to stay away from fish."||2 (pg 42)|
|Shawna||Pregnant woman||"I would respond by not buying any more fish sticks and substituting fish sticks for something else on the menu."||2 (pg 49)|
|Trevor||Father with 3 kids ages 5, 12, and 13. Pretending to be a pregnant woman.||"I would not eat fish for the first trimester."||1 (pg 24)|
|Name not given||Pretending to be a pregnant woman.||"I might find other ways to get the nutrients, without even risking the fish."||1 (pg 29)|
|Name not given||Pretending to be a pregnant woman.||"I would simply say, okay, avoid fish. I wouldn't eat it at all if I were pregnant."||3 (pg 56)|
Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from FDA focus group transcripts. 1 - Macro International, Inc. 2000i - Boston, Nov 8, 8pm. 2 - Macro International, Inc. 2000j - Calverton, MD, Nov 14, 6pm. 3 - Macro International, Inc. 2000k - Calverton, MD, Nov 14, 8pm.