Sunday, December 9, 2007

USDA kicks canned tuna from WIC

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) drops toxic albacore tuna from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), but refuses to drop “light tuna” despite mercury risks.

Albacore tuna is high in toxic methylmercury, which can cause women and children brain and nervous system damage. Albacore tuna averages 0.383 parts per million (ppm) of mercury. In 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised women and children to limit their consumption albacore tuna because of the risks. In California, the seafood mercury advises women and children to also avoid tuna commonly served as sushi, ahi, or tuna steaks. Fortunately, albacore tuna will no longer put low-income families at risk when they receive food through the WIC program.

There is an addition positive outcome after health advocacy campaigns contacted the USDA regarding this rule: After three decades, low-income women and children will no longer be forced to pick only tuna when looking for healthy canned seafood options. Now, the USDA can chose from salmon, sardines, and mackerel as low-mercury seafood options – getting the benefits of seafood without the risks associated with mercury in albacore tuna.

You can read the new rule online:

Despite the USDA’s wise decision to drop albacore, the USDA will continue to offer “light tuna” to mothers who breastfeed. Canned light tuna averages 0.118 ppm of mercury, which is nearly 10 times more mercury than sardines (0.016 ppm) and more than canned salmon, which contains no detectable levels of mercury. This is an unnecessary risk for low-income mothers and their nursing children when alternatives exist that carry little or no risk.

The USDA program will continue to put WIC recipient families at risk as long as canned light tuna is kept as an option. The failing tuna industry should not be subsidized at the expense of women and children in the US. Avoid buying canned tuna and speak out against this portion of the interim rule for WIC food packages.


Please submit your comments today to ask the USDA to remove light tuna from the WIC program and to support the inclusion of other no-mercury or low-mercury canned fish options for low-income women who are breastfeeding. Please submit your comments before the rule goes into effect on February 8, 2008.


Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to, select ‘‘Food and Nutrition Service,’’ from the agency drop-down menu, then click ‘‘Submit.’’ In the Docket ID column, select FNS–2006–0037 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

World Ocean Day Party in San Francisco, June 8, and Films in Marin, June 9

Friday, 08 June 2007

The Gallery Lounge
510 Brannan Street
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 227-0449

8:00pm - 11:00pm:
Preview Ocean related films and meet several leaders in the Ocean Conservation community including filmmakers, marine biologists, and other notable guests of honor at the Gallery Lounge, a cocktail lounge and art gallery located in the SOMA district near downtown San Francisco at Brannan and 4th Streets (across from the Bank of America).

Happy hour drink specials from until 11 PM: $3 draft beer, $4 house red wine

Free event with RSVP:

Saturday, 09 June 2007
The Lark Theater
549 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, California 94939
(415) 924-5111

12:00pm - 4:00pm:
Join us for the screenings of several Ocean related films, including Sharks: Stewards of the Reef, and other short films like Thank You Ocean. You'll have an opportunity to meet some of the filmmakers in attendance, and learn more about how you can help.

The Lark is a non-profit historical single screen theater built in 1936, and shows first run and independent films.

These events are brought to you by COARE,, Ocean Revolution, Sharks: Stewards of the Reef, San Francisco Surfrider Foundation, The Marine Mammal Center, The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

To learn more about World Ocean Day, or to find events in other areas, please visit

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Radio Interview about Mercury in Fish

While working at GotMercury.Org, I did an interview with the great people at the National Radio Project about mercury in seafood with a focus on mercury in San Francisco Bay, the lawsuits under Proposition 65, and the WIC program that gives breastfeeding women canned mercury despite the risks.

You can listen to the entire program online at:

Let me know what you think!

Monday, March 12, 2007

OceanHealth.Org posts to Yelp! Reviewing businesses for ocean-friendly, healthy seafood options.

A fun resource for finding reviews for just about anything these days is Yelp. One thing that was noticeably lacking things on Yelp was reviews that took into account the impact the restaurants and other businesses that sell seafood are having on your health and on the health of our oceans.

Now OceanHealth.Org has begun reviewing San Francisco Bay Area restaurants and other businesses to rate how ocean-friendly and healthy they are.

Check out the OceanHealth.Org profile on Yelp and become a friend so that restaurants know that you care about your health and the health of our dwindling ocean resources.

Please join the OceanHealth.Org effort by reviewing your restaurants, supermarkets, and other seafood businesses. Become a friend to OceanHealth.Org online to show your support for sustainable, healthy seafood.

Be sure to become a friend to OceanHealth.Org here on blogger, too! Subscribe for future uptdates about what you can do for ocean conservation and public health protection!

Thank you for your help! The future of the ocean is blue with you.

PS - OceanHealth.Org is also on MySpace.Com: