Thursday, November 8, 2012 Gets Cooperation From Supermarket: testing seafood in two month pilot program

 It has been some time since I mentioned the GotMercury organization.  But that is not to say that they have not been busy.  This is an organization dedicated to making people aware of the unhealthy levels of mercury in our seafood - levels that can, in some cases, reach in excess of 4 times the weekly safe levels recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from just one serving of certain fish.

Much has been written about whale, dolphin, and tuna meat and the high levels of pollutants, like mercury, that can be found in these fish.  Served to children or pregnant women, as is done in many Asian countries, is a risky business indeed.  However, these fish are not the only ones with unsafe levels of mercury in their tissues. provides a handy online calculator with which you can use to determine the approximate levels of mercury in various seafood.  There is also a cell phone version of the calculator which I keep with me to educate my friends when we are in a restaurant and they are considering the seafood on the menu.  You enter your weight, select the fish you are considering, and then choose a size portion in ounces.  The calculator then gives you the percentage of your EPA/FDA limit of mercury you will be consuming.  Most people are shocked by the results.

GotMercury has also been hard at work exposing tainted seafood at the seafood counter of your local supermarket.  In years past, they were the renegades, buying seafood like any other customer, then testing it and announcing their findings - which were usually disturbing and much to the chagrin of the supermarket.

However, times are changing.  GotMercury is collaborating with Safe Harbor Foods to do testing of seafood sold through the Safeway supermarket chain - with Safeway's cooperation.  Any tainted seafood that is found will be pulled and not sold.  This is a pilot program that will take place over the next two months in 47 Safeway stores in Oregon and Washington.  From there, it will potentially go nationwide throughout the entire Safeway chain.  You can follow the results of this testing process online either through GotMercury's Facebook or Causes pages.

Congratulations to, Safe Harbor Foods, and to the Safeway supermarket chain for taking the responsible step in participating even at the risk of losing money should any of their seafood be found to be high in mercury.

And if you don't already have the GotMercury calculator either loaded on your cell phone or bookmarked in your browser, I would highly recommend that you do so.  To do otherwise is a risk not worth taking.


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