Safety of canned tuna questioned

June 14, 2006 in Food Safety, Nutrition Topics in the News

Safety of canned tuna questioned

According to a recent analysis of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data conducted by Consumer Reports, canned light tuna may not be the safer choice for pregnant women due to potential harmful mercury content.

Canned light tuna has long been recommended for pregnant women due to its lower mercury content than other types of fish, including albacore tuna. However, when Consumer Reports analyzed the available data, they found about six percent of the light tuna samples contained at least as much metal, and in some cases even twice as much as albacore tuna.

One possible reason for the increased metal content may be due to the fact that some canned light tuna may contain yellowfin, a variety that tends to have higher levels than skipjack, the type usually found in cans of tuna labeled "light".

FDA officials do not believe these findings warrant a warning to consumers about the occasionally higher levels. However, Consumer Reports is questioning the safety for pregnant women urging a more cautious approach.

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