As You Sow and Sea Turtle Restoration Project found very high levels of mercury in certain fish purchased and tested in 2003. The two groups subsequently initiated actions against several major grocery store chains and one large seafood restaurant chain regarding the mercury levels in certain fish being sold or served to consumers without any warning.
As You Sow and Sea Turtle Restoration Project began working collaboratively with the Attorney General’s office to resolve these cases. Most defendants began immediately providing warnings to consumers regarding the dangers of mercury exposure from certain fish. The warnings drafted by As You Sow and Sea Turtle Restoration Project have now been posted at most grocery store fish counters throughout the state and some even nationwide.
Similarly, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has gathered advisories, information, and related links on health and safety issues regarding consumption of fish. Sea Turtle Restoration Project also launched its “Got Mercury?” consumer education campaign with information and links to further resources.
As a result of our notices and the subsequent actions by the Attorney General, the danger of mercury exposure from consuming certain fish, such as swordfish, shark and tuna, has received considerable attention in the press, around the country and worldwide. In December of 2005, a series by the Chicago Tribune resulted in the FDA taking further action to protect consumers.