Actor Ted Danson (search) and model Amber Valletta (search) gave state Attorney General (search) Bill Lockyer an environmental award for his efforts to enforce a California law requiring businesses to label potentially harmful foods.
Appearing for the environmental group Oceana on Wednesday, Danson and Valletta also praised national food chain Wild Oats Market, saying it was the first in the country to voluntarily warn consumers about the risks of mercury in seafood. They told a news conference outside a Wild Oats store they hoped to raise awareness about the dangers of mercury.
"Most people don't know about it. It's not spoken about on TV, it's not in newspapers, it's not posted in shopping markets," Valletta said. "My mom didn't know. My friends — I'll go to dinner and they won't know."
The federal government advises pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children to avoid fish with high levels of mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish.
Elevated mercury levels have been linked to learning disabilities and developmental delays in children and to heart, nervous system and kidney damage in adults.