Yesterdays flawed and alarmist New York Times article about tuna
sushi has resulted in a series of irresponsible reports that fly in the
face of widely-accepted nutrition guidance for Americans to increase
seafood consumption for healthy hearts and brains. In the most recent
and comprehensive reviews of seafood science, researchers report that
the nutrients in fish counter concerns, and promoting advice to limit
seafood consumption could be detrimental to public health. To
articulate the errors in the New York Times article and inappropriate
public health concerns they cause, the National Fisheries Institute is
hosting a 3:00pm press briefing today, Thursday, January 24, 2008.
Members are invited to attend and listen but please note the question
and answer period is strictly reserved for members of the working
press. To attend please dial 888-632-5950 and ask for the NFI
conference call.

If you get calls from customers or local media using the New York
Times story as a springboard to suggest mercury warning signs, NFI
recommends sharing the following facts about seafood and mercury:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a deliberate
decision not to ask stores to post signs because their seafood advice
pertains to only a small segment of the population (pregnant women) and
would cause confusion for the general public. Several studies confirm
signs not only have the effect of warning pregnant women away from fish
but the broader public as well, at a time when Americans only eat 16
pounds of the 39 pounds (12 ounces a week) annually recommended for
optimum health. For pregnant women and other interested consumers, we
provide complete information on the benefits and concerns about eating
fish during pregnancy at the seafood counter.

FDA recommendations encourage pregnant women to eat 12 ounces of a
variety of seafood per week for optimal health. Signs with limited
information give pregnant women the wrong message and can steer them
away from nutrient-rich fish, putting their babies at a developmental

  • A 2007 study published in The Lancet found that women who ate more
    than 12 ounces of fish during pregnancy had children with the highest
    developmental outcomes.

Major public health organizations, including the FDA, American
Dietetic Association and American Heart Association, advise Americans
to eat more fish to live longer, healthier, and more active lives.

Please contact Gavin Gibbons at (703) 752-8891 with questions or for additional information.

For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI)
and its members have provided American families with the variety of
sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information

Contact Information

Gavin Gibbons
(703) 752-8891