Radioactive tunaFacebook is a dangerous thing. One minute you're looking at someone's cute baby picture, the next you're reading about radioactive fish transporting nuclear fallout across the ocean.
Yes, for real.
According to a new study from the National Academies of Sciences, tainted Japanese tuna from last year's Fukushima meltdown has shown up 6,000 miles away on California's shores.Read More: Radiation Risk Looms for Pregnant Women in Japan
But the FDA says the radiation is nothing to worry about in the United States, since you'd have to eat pounds of the stuff before being affected. According to a 2011 Government Accountability Study, the FDA only inspects .1 percent of the fish we import for consumption -- meaning the FDA might not know if the other 99.9% is radioactive or not.
After looking into the issue, what worries me more than convincing my husband to give up his tuna sashimi is the fact that 80% of the fish we eat comes from other countries where, according to Consumer Reports, "about half of that is farmed fish, which may contain disease-causing bacteria, residues of antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals."
Regardless of where they come from, most big fish -- including yellowfin tuna, which is more common in the United States -- contain mercury, a neurotoxic byproduct of coal production. The scary thing about mercury -- besides the fact that it is damage the brain and central nervous system -- is that bioaccumulates, which means it stays in the body and can be passed on to our kids through pregnancy or breastfeeding.
I know, I know. Fish is great, lean protein. It's a main food source for many cultures around the globe. And resources like the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Guide make finding safer fish choices easier than ever.
But it feels like the ocean has become the dumping ground for so many toxic substances -- nuclear fallout just seems to be the one making headlines this week. So I'm staying away from fish for a while -- at least until the waters clear.
Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff blogs as MommyGreenest.com, founded EcoStiletto.com, appeared on "Today" and "CNN," is the former Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World & was editor-in-chief of Children magazine-before she had kids. She lives in Los Angeles.
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