Are Mercury Advisories Effective? Information, Education, and Fish Consumption
Timothy K.M. Beatty
Jay P. Shimshack
Michael B. Ward
This paper examines responses to a national FDA advisory urging at-risk individuals to limit store-bought fish consumption due to the dangers of methyl-mercury. We address this issue using parametric and nonparametric methods, including recently developed tests of stochastic dominance. Both education and newspaper readership were important determinants of consumption response, suggesting that information acquisition and assimilation are key factors for risk avoidance. While the advisory was effective for some groups, we do not find a response among the relatively large group of at-risk households which met neither the education nor readership criteria.
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