Mercury levels in sushi questioned

January 25, 2008 7:35:17 AM PST
The New York Times commissioned tests on tuna sushi from 20 upscale restaurants and gourmet shops. The results stunned even some owners.

The Times says samples from 5 of the 20 restaurants and stores it tested showed mercury high enough to trigger FDA legal action.

Most of the samples came from bluefin tuna.

They were tested by Dr. Michael Gochfeld, an environmental medicine specialist at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and by Dr. Joanna Burger, a Rutgers University professor of life sciences.

Although the tests were done in New York City, environmental experts say similar mercury levels would likely be found elsewhere. One said mercury levels in bluefin tuna tend to be high, regardless of the location.

Several restaurant & market owners said they planned to take bluefin tuna off the menu till they could find a source for fish with lower mercury levels.