New study says Government study on consumption of canned tuna does not provide sufficient protection for consumers by Mitch E.Perry

07/12/06

Yesterday, the group Defenders of Wildlife, in conjunction with the Mercury Policy Project and the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report showing that a recent advisory issued by the FDA and the EPA on consumption of light canned tuna does NOT provide adequate protection for consumers.

2 years ago, the 2 federal agencies issued a joint advisory to clear up the confusion created when they separately issued different standards under which consuming tuna would be safe.

That advisory said it was safe to eat 2 cans of light canned tuna, or one can of albacore tuna per week.

But according to the new report, “Is Our Tuna ‘Family Safe'? Mercury in America's Favorite Fish� shows that, based on the average mercury levels found in the canned light tuna studied, a person following the Joint Advisory could easily exceed the EPA's recommended daily limit on mercury intake (reference dose). This is especially true of pregnant women and children and when the tuna consumed is imported from Latin America.

One of the findings in the report says that a person would have to weigh more than 300 pounds to consume the amount of tuna that the EPA and FDA say is safe, to actually be safe. So anybody who weighs less than that should not consume 2 cans of light tuna a week.

Bob Irvin is the Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife (roll tape#1 o.q.�as a child�)

That’s Bob Irvin, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife.

The U.S. Tuna Foundation, based in Washington, released a statement yesterday in a statement that it stands by the quality, safety and nutritional benefits of its products and disparaged the tuna study as “statistically insignificant".

To look at the study yourself, you can go to the web at Defenders.org/tunamercury

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