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Editor's Note: Dear FDA
Fiona Robinson, Associate Publisher/Editor
August 01, 2010
Americans are constantly bombarded with different health-related messages, many of them confusing: Avoid sugar, but eat dark chocolate; exercise according to this regimen, but not that one; eat more vitamins and vegetables. It's no wonder the vast majority of consumers tune these messages out. But when a bunch of scientists actually come together and agree on something, the public should take note.
A few months ago, J. Thomas Brenna, professor of human nutrition at Cornell University, and London Metropolitan University professor Michael Crawford co-signed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, urging the agency to move forward on its risk-and-benefit assessment of fish consumption. Brenna, Crawford and more than 100 other scientist and nutritionists worldwide are urging the FDA to move ahead on its report. Freelance writer Clare Leschin-Hoar writes about the situation in this month's Top Story, Health advice questioned.
Knowing how long it can take the FDA to move on anything, I was motivated to write my own letter with the hope that would spur some action. Here goes:
Dear FDA officials,
I am begging you to finalize the review of the risks and benefits of seafood consumption. I've watched the message about seafood consumption get so ripped to shreds by the mainstream media and non-governmental organizations with a hidden agenda that it's no wonder that consumers have no clue what seafood to eat, so they stop eating it altogether. I've seen it happen over and over again.
I'm sure there are many folks in the seafood industry who would spare some time to help out on other FDA projects so this risk-and-benefit report can be finalized. Need someone to sniff Gulf seafood for oil contamination? I'm there. I also know some folks who could help inspect seafood at the border or any other project the agency needs help with to free time up to finish this report.
The benefits related to seafood consumption need to be heard. People in the industry hear the message frequently, but the average consumer does not.
Please, please, please do not push this report under the rug. The longer it gets set aside, the more people will be at risk for heart disease, depression and a host of other ailments. Americans deserve to hear the message that their seafood consumption needs to increase.