Consumer reports advises pregnant women to avoid tuna

Consumer reports advises pregnant women to avoid tuna
Guideline is prompted by concerns about mercury exposure.

(HealthDay)—In a new review of seafood safety, Consumer Reports is advising that pregnant women avoid eating tuna due to concerns about mercury exposure.

"We're particularly concerned about canned tuna, which is second only to shrimp as the most commonly eaten seafood in the United States. We encourage pregnant women to avoid all tuna," Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said in a news release from the group.

While pregnant women and children are at greatest risk from mercury in seafood, anyone can be at risk if they eat too much seafood with high mercury levels, Consumer Reports noted.

Adults who eat 24 ounces (1.5 pounds) or more of seafood per week should also avoid seafood with high mercury levels, including sushi made with tuna, the independent product testing group said.

On the other hand, there are nearly 20 types of seafood that people—even and children—can eat several times a week without worrying about , according to Consumer Reports.

While fish and other seafood contain healthy and other nutrients, many people are concerned that these foods contain high levels of mercury, which can damage the brain and nervous system.

In its review, Consumer Reports analyzed U.S. Food and Drug Administration data on mercury levels in various types of seafood. The group identified about 20 types of seafood that can be consumed several times a week without raising concerns about mercury exposure.

Seafood with the lowest mercury levels include wild salmon, scallops, shrimp (most wild and U.S. farmed) and tilapia. Other with low-mercury levels include catfish, crab, trout, flounder and sole (flatfish), according to the report that appears in the October issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Newly updated guidelines from the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency say that women of childbearing age and young children should not eat the four types of fish with the highest : swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico. The agencies are also considering adding marlin and orange roughy to that list, according to Consumer Reports.

More information: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more about mercury in seafood.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pregnant or breast-feeding women urged to eat more fish

Jun 10, 2014

(HealthDay)—Pregnant or breast-feeding women should increase their weekly consumption of fish, choosing types lower in mercury, according to new advice issued Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ...

Worried about mercury? It's easy to choose safer fish

Jun 26, 2009

We've been told seafood is good for us because it's low in calories and fat, full of protein and packed with Omega-3s, which may protect against coronary heart disease and stroke, and are thought to help neurological development ...

Recommended for you

UK proposes rules for embryos made from 3 people

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—New rules proposed in Britain would make it the first country to allow embryos to be made from the DNA of three people in order to prevent mothers from passing on potentially fatal genetic diseases to their babies.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.