He Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tuna
California loses suit to make tuna companies issue mercury warnings
California law requires products containing chemicals that could cause reproductive harm or cancer to have warning labels, but a state Superior Court judge has ruled that the law does not apply to mercury-licious canned tuna. Mercury has been shown to slow neurological development, thus the FDA advises pregnant women and children to limit fish consumption. But the judge’s ruling states that California law is preempted by an FDA advisory available on the internet (easily accessible to those browsing the web while grocery shopping!), that mercury levels were not high enough to warrant a warning (based on older lab rat research, not newer human research), and that tuna was exempt because mercury in fish can be naturally occurring (except for what’s spewed from power plants). A spokesperson for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who had sued the tuna companies seeking warning labels, said the ruling was “wrong on the law, wrong on the science, and bad for the women and children of California.”
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