Study: Mercury levels high in fish jerky

According to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Environmental Health, methylmercury levels in fish jerky made with marlin, ahi tuna and salmon average five times that of the U.S. government’s allowable levels.

The research was conducted by physician and activist Dr. Jane Hightower of San Francisco, author of the book “Diagnosis Mercury,” and Dr. David Brown of Chico State University.

A total of 105 fish jerky samples were tested from 15 bags of marlin jerky, three bags of ahi tuna jerky and three bags of salmon jerky purchased online and from large retail stores in Hawaii and California.

The study found that only one package of marlin jerky had all five samples test below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s allowable level of 1 part per million. Six marlin jerky samples contained mercury levels greater than 10 ppm, and one marlin sample tested at 28 times the allowable level of 1 ppm.

The 15 samples of ahi tuna had mercury levels ranging from 0.09 to 0.55 ppm, while the 15 salmon samples ranged from 0.03 to 0.17 ppm.

The FDA has never tested merucy in fish jerky, according to the study.

“It is shocking to find such high levels of toxic mercury in a snack food sold as a healthy food,” said Teri Shore of California-based “Mercury warnings need to go on fish jerky labels so people can make informed choices. The federal government must take immediate action to alert people to this hidden mercury threat.”


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