Producers still want vengeance against Jeremy Piven for dropping out of Speed the Plow due to "mercury poisoning." They've been thwarted once, and the actor now claims history and Hope are on his side.

A recent union hearing left the actor unscathed, so the producers have pressed on to arbitration, the dates for which were announced Wednesday (June 8 and 9). This prompted the release of a lengthy statement from Piven, explaining that his poisoned sushi is seriously a really, really big major health issue, since he may have nearly had a heart attack, hypothetically, but also because the president said so:

Mr. Piven is looking forward to testifying in Arbitration along with his doctors so that the truth comes out about the very health serious risks caused by Mercury exposure, which the Obama administration has recently described as the world's gravest chemical problem.

It's true: The White House said just that (sans odd Capitalization) when calling for a global mercury-limit treaty last month, according to the Associated Press. Then it specifically mentioned fetuses and children as being at risk.

It's worth noting, though, that there's juuuust enough scientific chatter about fish-based mercury poisoning in adults to make Piven's story plausible, if you ignore his sketchy doctor and past behavior.

Piven's medical records might help settle the question, but the actor demanded the producers sign a confidentiality agreement before they could access them. Which makes sense, because if Piven's M.D.s made house calls, lord only knows what sort of raw meat they saw being devoured.

(Pic: Piven at an Obama fundraiser in Chicago, June 2007. Getty.)