LOS ANGELES, CA [Reuters, 07 Mar 2006] --- Sushi is more popular than ever before but eating it "has become the new Russian roulette" in terms of safety, a group campaigning against mercury in fish said on Monday.
Eli Saddler of gotmercury.org, a campaign of California-based Sea Turtle Restoration Project, went to six top sushi restaurants in Los Angeles to test mercury levels in the fish they serve.
"The level of mercury in tuna these restaurants serve is so high they should be keeping this food off their lists," Saddler said. "Eating sushi has become the new Russian roulette."
Tuna samples from six popular sushi restaurants in Los Angeles were taken to a Southern California lab for testing.
They returned an average mercury level of 0.721 parts per million, about 88 percent higher than the reported Food and Drug Administration level of 0.383 ppm for all fresh and frozen tuna.
I think most tuna sushis here get their tuna from General Santos City, which is the self-proclaimed "Tuna Capital of the Philippines." Our country is a main exporter of tuna fish in Europe and in other parts of the world.
So far, only one study online claims the prevalence of mercury contamination among species of fish swimming in bodies of water located near gold-mining areas. I hope concerned agencies of the government like the Department of Health or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources conduct random checks both on sushi restos and public markets to determine the actual mercury content of fish samples, and to let the public know about it. Hah! I'm doing some wishful thinking again. *LOL*
What's wrong with mercury contamination or poisoning? The answer is here.
Oh, well. I guess I now have to limit my trips to sushi bars and restos. Or I might just learn to stick with salmon and unagi sashimis.