The Barrel Scraping Continues… this time at My Fox LA

August 9, 2013

Kingsley Smith
Vice President
News Director
My Fox LA

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to express serious concerns over an interview that aired on your station yesterday. Billed as a discussion centered on new research from UC Riverside your anchor talked with Dr. Kelly Huffman about her prenatal nutrition survey.

It would appear your anchor and or producers did little if any research about the study and offered no substantive questions about many of the problems found in this research. Likewise, they failed to research and or question the nutrition qualifications of the guest.

For starters, as discussed, the study suggests pregnant women not eat salmon specifically to avoid PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls.) All fish, not just salmon, make up a total of 9% of the PCBs found in the American diet. While vegetables account for 20% of the PCBs. Is Dr. Huffman suggesting that pregnant women also not eat vegetables?

This type of fundamental contradiction found in this study was neither addressed nor acknowledged on the air by your staff. This type of overt journalistic failure calls into question the thoroughness with which they researched this topic.

Dr. Kelly Huffman herself suggests pregnant women avoid canned tuna because of its mercury levels and instead suggest women try Halibut. According to the FDA Halibut contains 0.241 ppm of mercury, while the most popular canned tuna contains 0.128 ppm, yet another almost nonsensical contradiction. Whats more, the USDA Dietary Guidelines (Federal Nutrition Policy) states, the benefits of consuming seafood far outweigh the risks, even for pregnant women.

I am sure these types of errors, both in the research itself and in the formulation of the segment are as much a concern to you as they are to me. I appreciated your attention to this matter. Please let me know how you plan to address this situation and or if I can provide you with any resources.

Gavin Gibbons
National Fisheries Institute

cc: Kevin Hale
VP, General Manager

Ramona Schindelheim
Managing Editor

Josh Kaplan
Senior Executive Producer