Bloom or Bust on Mercury Reporting 

The cycle of reporting on mercury in seafood can be an exhausting one, as misinformed reporters peddle hyperbole and spoon-fed narratives that appear to prompt simple handwringing and teeth gnashing. But they cause much more than that. 

For years, informed communicators have pointed to studies like one from the National Academy of Sciences that shows a faulty focus on an overblown mercury myth has a negative impact on public health. 

 The director of the Center for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Policy put it this way, “The government’s communication strategy on the risks and benefits of eating fish has not worked. People are confused. What has been lost in the emphasis on risk from mercury… is the fact that many types of fish, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids, have significant health benefits. People lose out on those benefits if they decrease fish consumption because they’re getting a mixed message.” 

The fact is virtually every major health organization in the United States wants Americans to eat more seafood as part of a healthy diet. In the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendation is that everyone increase their consumption of seafood, and that pregnant women in particular eat at least 2 to 3 servings each week. That’s because seafood provides nutrients that benefit cardiovascular health: A Harvard study showed that some 84,000 cardiac-related deaths could be prevented each year with proper servings of fish in the diet. There are no exaggerated mercury warnings found here. Just a recommendation to eat more seafood. 

Meanwhile, in recent post,’s Bloom Foods writes, “let’s dive into the topic of mercury in seafood,” but surprisingly leaves out some essential facts rendering its dive fairly shallow.  

Unreported is the fact that there are no cases of mercury toxicity from the normal consumption of commercial seafood found in published peer-reviewed medical journals. That’s right, people don’t actually get mercury poisoning from eating a tuna sandwich for lunch. 

Bloom’s “dive” also includes an explanation of the FDA’s 1.0 ppm limit for mercury in seafood, known as the “action level.”  What it does not however explain in this section is that said level includes a 10-fold safety factor

“FDA’s Action Level of 1.0 ppm for methyl mercury in fish was established to limit consumers’ methyl mercury exposure to levels ten times lower than the lowest levels associated with adverse effects.” 

Consumer Reports walked into the John Adam’s wielded buzzsaw of facts being stubborn things when it embarrassed itself by also ignoring this truth; Really, Consumer Reports? Show Us The Numbers, We Did Consumer Reports Work for Them.  

So, now Bloom Food is content to report on the topic “while the debate continues.” Guess what? The debate in the informed, science-based, nutrition community is over. The benefits of eating seafood outweigh any perceived risks from mercury.