St. John’s — St. John’s East MP Nick Whalen suggests that if people wish to safeguard themselves against toxic levels of methylmercury resulting from the flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir, they should “eat less fish.”
NDP Leader Earle McCurdy disagrees, saying if government can’t prevent poisoning the indigenous food supply, they should not be allowed to go through with the project.
“That’s nonsense,” Whalen tweeted. “If you’re worried about methylmercury, just eat less fish.” Outrage at this tweet ensued, with Newfoundlanders saying Whalen is only throwing a Band-Aid solution at them, and that he has no regard for environmental problems or the food-security issues in Newfoundland. So Whalen backtracked with another tweet.
“Or just replace fresh fish with McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. At least we know what’s in that.”
In an interview with The Manatee, Whalen elaborated on his position.
“The McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is a balanced meal in itself; you have your meat group with the fish patty, your vegetable group with that piece of lettuce, your bread group, your mayo group — is your mouth watering yet?
“Look, I’m not saying you should eat all McDonald’s all the time — this isn’t Supersize Me — but if it’s a choice between a safe, processed, chemically preserved Filet-O-Fish from your local McDonald’s and the naturally sourced fish at Musrat Falls that may or may not be compromised because of government projects, I’d say it’s a no-brainer.”
Whalen said McDonald’s actually offers a variety of options that are healthier and safer than fresh food from the province’s rivers, lakes and land.
“They’ve got that yogurt parfait thing — that one’s pretty good. They’ve got salads with lettuce shipped directly from Beijing, and it’s never even been rinsed in contaminated water as far as I know. They’ve got these mummified apple slices sealed in plastic bags, and they deliver coupons directly to your door, so you can’t complain that you’re too poor to eat well.
“Worrying about this is just ridiculous.”