84% of world’s fish not safe to eat more than once a month

A study finds that 84% of the world’s fish tested was not safe to eat more than once per month because of mercury poisoning. And 13% of the fish isn’t safe to eat, period. Though honestly, I’m not sure how happy I am eating something that’s so poisonous you can only eat one serving per month.

In the United States the number is better.  Though in the US the study only looked at one fish, Alaskan Halibut (which I’ve had, it’s yummy).  43% of Alaskan Halibut was only safe to eat once a month because of its mercury levels.

And in Japan and Uruguay, the study found that “Mercury concentrations in fish from sites in Japan and Uruguay were so high that no consumption is recommended.”

Fish via Shutterstock

Fish via Shutterstock

The study comes from the  Bioresearch Diversity Institute, and was released in January, but I’d missed it.  This chart shows the percent of fish tested in each country that is not safe to eat more than once per month. While in the US they only tested one fish, Alaskan Halibut, in other countries they tested 15-20 fish per country, I was told by Dr. David Evers of the Bioresearch Diversity Institute, one of those behind the study.

Percentage of fish in that country that can only safely be eaten once per month.

Percentage of fish in that country that can only safely be eaten once per month.

As the chart above shows, in Italy and Japan, 100% of the fish tested was only safe to eat once per month.

Evers pointed me to a handy chart they have up showing how much fish you can eat per month and safely avoid mercury poisoning – but keep in mind, this is just mercury.  You also have to research PCB limits on eating fish as well:

how much fish you can eat per month

Interestingly, the federal guidelines say to only eat two servings of salmon per week, whereas the chart says not to worry about it.

I have to say, the more I read about this kind of thing, the less I want to eat fish all together. If you have to check multiple tables to find out whether it’s even safe at all to eat fish, then why eat it? I get that it’s good for you (if it doesn’t kill you), but damn, this is the point we’ve come to – having to check tables in the grocery store to see if particular foods are going to eventually poison us.

Not to mention, what the hell are we doing to the world?

Here’s more on this from CBS:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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