In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency issued warnings to pregnant women. They said that trace levels of methyl mercury in fish could harm developing babies’ nervous systems. CEI warned the public that this was fishy advice—based largely junkscience. The EPA-FDA recommendations are particularly bad because they discourage consumption of a very healthy food choice.
Today’s Washington Post offers yet another wrinkle to this story. It reports that women who ate more than EPA’s recommended maximum levels of fish during pregnancy gave birth to children with better developed nervous systems and higher IQs than women who ate less fish. If the researchers in this study are correct, then the federal government’s advice could have harmed many children.
While this study simply reports an association—which means it is not conclusive—it certainly places the EPA-FDA advisory on its head. It highlights yet another reason why blindly following the fearmongering of regulatory agencies is ill-advised.