In a recent report, Consumer Reports disagreed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as the Environmental Protection Agency’s view that canned tuna for women expecting a baby should be a seafood option with low-mercury.
Shrimp, tilapia and salmon are options that are better, said the group.
Tuna in a can is a seafood option that is very popular in the United States for many people, but Consumer Reports says that women who are pregnant should not consume it.
The FDA and EPA’s proposed guidelines say that expecting moms and nursing moms could eat up to but not exceed 12 ounces of seafood that is low-mercury per week. That amounts to between two and three servings.
Canned tuna that is labeled “light” is listed as lower mercury. However, Consumer Reports now is warning that expecting mothers should skip tuna altogether.
The group released a statement that said it disagreed with the EPA and FDA recommendation on the amount of tuna women and children should eat. We feel that pregnant women should not eat any canned tuna.
An initiatives director for food policy at Consumer Reports is concerned particularly with canned tuna, which is only second to shrimp, as the seafood most commonly consumed in the U.S.
Eating fish, which includes shellfish, is known to have many benefits to the health because of being packed with nutrients and protein but with little saturated fat, said the EPA and FDA.
The nutritional value of fish becomes especially important in development and growth prior to birth, during infancy for infants that are breastfed and in childhood, the guidelines from the EPA and FDA read.
The data from the FDA was analyzed by Consumer Reports and 20 fish were picked that can be consumed a number of time each week, even by women who are expecting and by young children, without any worry about exposure to mercury.
Nearly every seafood has trace amounts of mercury and ingesting too much could harm the nervous system and brain.
However, the federal agencies stress that the fear of mercury is not a reason to stop consuming fish completely.