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Consumer Reports supports EWG findings

Thursday, June 8, 2006

The magazine Consumer Reports is warning pregnant women not to eat any tuna at all because the government can't assure us that even supposedly-safe light tuna won't contain excessive levels of mercury, which harms developing brains.

As reported in the Chicago Tribune:

"This is important information that women need to hear," said Jean Halloran, the director of food policy at Consumers Union and a member of an FDA advisory panel on mercury in seafood. "We think that high exposures, even for a day or two, could be too much of a risk."

Consumer Reports bases its advice on a powerful investigation by the Chicago Tribune last winter finding that some light tuna, which on average appears to be lower in mercury than albacore tuna, actually contained more mercury than the albacore. The Tribune also quotes an FDA official admitting that they kept light tuna on the low-mercury/low-concern list for consumers in order to protect tuna companies.

Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers have pressured the Food and Drug Administration for years to give women of childbearing age clear, accurate advice about which fish to eat or avoid, ultimately coming up with a fish list (link) and a tuna calculator that lets them see based on their weight how much tuna they can safely eat.

Click here to see all of EWG's research on mercury in seafood.