"A nonprofit group backed by the seafood industry urged pregnant women and nursing mothers to eat more fish than recommended by U.S. officials concerned that mercury contamination can hurt babies," reports Avram Goldstein. "The group, the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, said women who avoid seafood to limit exposure to mercury deprive their babies and themselves of essential nutrients. Women should eat at least the 12 ounces a week suggested as a maximum by the government, the coalition said today at a briefing in Washington." The report was funded with $74,000 from the National Fisheries Institute, a client of the Burson-Marsteller PR firm. Another food industry front group, the Center for Consumer Freedom, chimed in with a news release calling for environmental groups to apologize for creating "panic" about mercury in foods. Longstanding health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, responded to the report by re-emphasizing their advice to avoid excessive fish consumption.
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