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Mercury Levels Higher in Some Imported Tuna

If you still enjoy eating light canned tuna despite the inherent dangers, you'll want to reconsider in a hurry, according to this interesting and alarming report from the Defenders of Wildlife. More than half of the light canned tuna products in your neighborhood grocery store come from international sources and, as a result, contain almost twice the mercury, based on independent testing.

These new findings are definitely a unhealthy disconnect, considering the joint advisory issued by the FDA and EPA to the contrary, that didn't take into account the higher mercury levels found in imported tuna. The frightening numbers speak for themselves:

  • Seven varieties out of 144 cans of light tuna either matched or exceeded the FDA's stated action level of 1 ppm. Simply put, five out of every 100 cans tested were unfit for human consumption.
  • Almost 75 percent of the cans of tuna contained enough mercury to exceed the EPA's safety threshold for a 45-pound child, based on consuming just one can a week.
  • Independent findings showed the average amount of mercury found in all 164 cans of tuna was more than double the FDA's existing standard for "low mercury" fish.

The reason mercury is so prevalent in tuna, as well as swordfish and shark: Mercury rapidly accumulates in the food chain and, particularly, in older fish and predatory species. If you like tuna fish, I bet you'll change your mind for good after using the online mercury calculator at Got Mercury.org.

Defenders of Wildlife July 11, 2006 Free Full PDF Reports

Yahoo News July 11, 2006

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