Wednesday, January 23, 2008

dangerous mercury levels in tuna sushi

Sushi at 20 New York City restaurants tested positive for unacceptable levels of mercury and might pose a health risk, and experts say the problem likely exists elsewhere, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

According to the story, consuming just six pieces of sushi per week would exceed the standard levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

"No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks," Michael Gochfeld, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J., told The Times.

I could spin this into vegan propaganda, but the truth is, vegetables aren't free of risk either.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture is urging consumers to check their cupboards for cans of green beans and garbanzo beans that are a part of a national recall.

Clostridium botulinum bacterium spores have the potential for growth that produces a toxin that causes a potentially fatal form of food poisoning — botulism. Symptoms of botulism poisoning can begin from six hours to two weeks after eating food that contains the toxin and include general weakness, dizziness, double vision and trouble speaking or swallowing. Difficulty breathing, drooping eyelids, muscle weakness, abdominal distension and constipation are also common symptoms. Botulism poisoning can result in death unless medical assistance is provided.

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