San Francisco physician Dr. Jane Hightower is acknowledged by many to be the first doctor in the United States to recognize low-level mercury poisoning in patients who regularly ate certain kinds of fish. Hear firsthand about competing interests, varying government standards, and what it took to get high levels of mercury in the blood seen as a problem.
Dr. Jane M. Hightower
Jane M. Hightower, M.D., is the author of Mercury: Money, Politics and Poison. She is a board-certified internal medicine physician in San Francisco, California.
She published a landmark study that brought the issue of mercury in seafood to national attention. She continues to publish scientific papers and give lectures on the subject.
Diagnosis Mercury: Money, Politics and Poison author Dr. Jane Hightower reads the FDA response to reporter Sue Kwon, who documented a significant increase of mercury in her blood after twenty days of eating tuna. The FDA's "action level" for mercury toxicity does not require the agency to actually take any action.