Fish fight: Scientists battle over the true harm of mercury in tuna

Molly Lutcavage thought she had a deal. For more than a decade, she had collected hundreds of tissue samples from bluefin tuna in hopes of settling a question that has long vexed pregnant women and the parents of young children: Should they eat the big fish, a beneficial source of protein and fatty acids? Or did mercury contamination make them too dangerous? Lutcavage hoped to test the theory that selenium, a key chemical found in tuna, prevents mercury from being transferred to the people who eat them and that, therefore, the fish are safe to eat. So she gave her hard-won samples to a colleague, Nick Fisher, to analyze in his lab. But Fisher, it seems, didn’t have as much interest in Lutcavage’s selenium theory. Two years later, he produced a study focused almost exclusively on his own hypothesis: that lowering pollution emissions from power plants reduced the levels of mercury in bluefin tuna. Lutcavage was furious, and the two scientists went to war. continue reading the article here 14:55