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We need to keep this thread in "safe territory". References to Native American commercial fishing can cause this thread to be closed, or deleted. Please keep any comments strictly on the toxins in Great Lakes fish and the possible health hazards of eating these fish. If the commercial fishing issue (some of which is conducted by non-natives in non-treaty waters) is to be discussed we need to keep any Native American references out of this.

Having said that, you are correct. Mike and Jason are also correct. I have been interested in using the toxin issue to limit, or end, commercial fishing in the Great Lakes for several years. I have been working alone, yet I have my State Senator's administrative assistant's attention and he has had several discussions with my Senator to try to work on legislation in this matter. My interest has been to do exactly what you are interested in doing, Mallard; provide information to the consumer, at the point of sale, about the contamination of Great Lakes fish sold to the public. The Michigan Department of Community Heath and the Department of Environmental Quality consider most of the Great Lakes fish sold to consumers too high in PCB and/or Dioxin and/or Chlordane. This is especially true for our children and women who expect to have children. I believe, as you believe, that selling these fish without providing the consumer with this information is bordering on a criminal act. The tough part about this is what Jason mentioned. The FDA has lower standards than the MDCH and DEQ. This allows these fish to be exported from Michigan. The next hurdle is the Michigan Department of Agriculture. They are responsible for ensuring that foods grown, harvested, raised... in the State of Michigan and sold in the State of Michigan are safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, the MDA follows the FDA guidelines. So, we are left with our two state agencies that believe that these fish are not safe to eat as our only allies.

We have warning labels on beer cans, cigarettes, household products, tools, cars, toys... Warning labels should be available at restaurants, grocery stores, smokehouses... anywhere that these fish are sold! The consumers in the State of Michigan should be given an educated choice as to whether they want their family to consume these fish. The EPA and FDA have issued warnings on several oceanic fish species, due to the high Mercury content in them. As fishermen/women, we are made aware of the state fish health advisory. Why shouldn't the general public be given the same information about the same fish? We have the choice to eat these fish, or toss them back. The consumer should be able to choose to avoid these fish, or not, given the same information. It is to this end that I have tried to get something done. I have followed several paths which have leaded me to a dead end. I'm not giving up, but it has taken time to learn what doesn't work. The first time that I brought this topic to this board was a couple of years ago. I got more ridicule than support, so don't be surprised if this thread goes sour. Get ready for the guys that say that the studies are a bunch of BS. I still believe that something can and will be done.

Mark
 
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