Putting the Science of Mercury in Seafood Into Perspective

This Web site is a project of the Program on Agriculture and Animal Health Policy (PAAHP) of the Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy (CFNAP) at the University of Maryland. The project is intended to help seo tools scientists, the public, the media and policy makers understand the range of published studies and analyses on the important issue of mercury and seafood. As such, PAAHP will provide synopses of the reports, papers, and other publications regarding the ongoing mercury controversy. The synopses will help the public understand the science-based facts upon which to make their seo optimization tools seafood purchasing decisions.

Guiding Principles

Each synopsis provides the reference and the Internet site for readers to go back to the original study or report;

Lack of bias:
Facts of the studies are summarized without further evaluation;

Each study or report is reviewed and summarized in bullet point format.


To provide the information summarized in this Web site, PAAHP conducted a thorough review of the scientific literature regarding mercury in fish and seafood. The summaries were guided by the following goals:

  • To reduce public confusion due to a plethora of health information from various sources — family, friends, professional colleagues, the media, and the Internet, among others.
  • To help the public, the media and policy makers understand the state of the science is essential for informed decision-making.
  • To help the public evaluate the impact of specific studies on mercury levels in fish by providing the context for these studies
  • To help the public understand what the statistics, percentages and proportions cited regarding mercury levels in seafood really mean.


The purpose of this Web site is to provide a summary in layman’s terms of the range of scientific studies and reports that have been conducted on the potential risks of mercury levels in fish and seafood. While not covering every study or report that has been issued, PAAHP researchers have reviewed and summarized the findings of the most significant ones that have been conducted, published and reported to date.

The following are the criteria that PAAHP used to identify, review and summarize these studies:

  • All major studies used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop public policy on mercury levels in fish and seafood;
  • All major studies conducted by government agencies and major academic centers that address the extent to which the American public consumes mercury through seafood consumption;
  • All major studies conducted by government agencies and major academic institutions that focus on the relative risks of consuming trace amounts of mercury in fish and seafood;
  • All studies that have been widely reported by the U.S. media and used to indicate the potential risks of consuming trace amounts of mercury in fish and seafood.

As new data are published and/or reported by the media, PAAHP will review these new studies and reports and provide a summary of their findings on this Web site. Thus, there will be an up-to-date resource for understanding how each major study on mercury in fish and seafood was conducted along with an unbiased summary of the conclusions. Hopefully, this information will improve public understanding and lead to more informed decision making in the future.