The Fishy Funder That Almost Got Away

In October 2005 the American Journal of Preventive Medicine published an article by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis assessing the relative risks and benefits of changes in fish consumption. The U.S. Tuna Foundation, representing major tuna processors such as Bumble Bee, hailed the study and warned, "If Americans reduce their fish consumption out of confusion about mercury, there will be serious public health consequences." Now New York Times reporter Marian Burros reveals that the U.S. Tuna Foundation contributed the bulk of the $500,000 for the study. The journal article only disclosed as funders the National Food Processors Association Research Foundation, the Food Products Association, and a section of the National Fisheries Institute, a seafood lobby group. Joshua T. Cohen, lead author of the journal article, told Burros, "No one is hiding anything. ... It never occurred to me anyone would think National Food Processors Association was less industry than Bumble Bee tuna."