Mercury in Seafood is #1 Consumer Food Safety Concern

Thursday, November 5, 2009 General News J E 4

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 3 A recent nationwide consumer survey reported that Americans are paying closer attention to food safety and quality claims when purchasing food with mercury in seafood ranking as the top concern. The report was published by Context Marketing and conducted by MRops, Inc.

Sixty-one percent of respondents cited mercury in seafood as their top food safety issue above pesticides (60 percent); and artificial hormones (58 percent). Concern for overall food safety ranked highest among women, while both men and women became more troubled by such issues as they aged.

"While we all know the health benefits of eating seafood, consumers are becoming increasingly wary of the risks associated with mercury-tainted fish," said Malcolm Wittenberg, CEO of Safe Harbor, mercury in seafood testing process and low-mercury seafood supplier. "Unequivocally, we know that fish is not being screened for mercury before being sold to consumers--despite FDA claims--which is why we are working with a growing number of North American food service organizations, retailers and restaurants to do so."

To date, Safe Harbor has conducted more than 300,000 tests in different fish species--more than any other private entity or government agency in the world--to determine their mercury concentrations. The company's extensive data about mercury in seafood has found an alarming number of fish species being sold to consumers well above the 1.0ppm action level proposed by the FDA. The highest levels of mercury in seafood are found in species such as king mackerel, tuna, swordfish, and shark.

The survey polled 600 respondents between the ages of 20 and 64, equally representing women and men living in major metropolitan areas across the U.S. A full methodology is available.

About Safe Harbor:

Safe Harbor(TM) certification - the first venture of Micro Analytical Systems, Inc. (MASI) - is the only process for fast, large-scale mercury testing of seafood, enabling processing plants and distribution centers to identify the maximum mercury content of every fish, below U.S. government standards. Founded in 2002, MASI conducts tests in plants and distribution centers worldwide, with Safe HarborŪ branded seafood sold at leading food service organizations, retailers and restaurants throughout North America.

SOURCE Safe Harbor


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