Pregnant women shouldn’t eat canned tuna, says Consumer Reports

We’re all aware that pregnant women shouldn’t overeat seafood because of mercury contamination, but the Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, recommends that moms-to-be skip canned tuna altogether. Most canned light tuna is skipjack, a species relatively low in mercury, but a Chicago Tribune investigation late last year found that the tuna industry also uses yellowfin, which can contain mercury at a level the FDA judges unsafe for pregnant women. So while the average mercury level in canned tuna remains low, individual cans may contain dangerously high amounts. This discovery led Consumers Union to err on the side of caution. But the FDA and the tuna industry are singing a different tuna, maintaining that canned light tuna is low in mercury — a position they took two years ago because, a top FDA official admitted, they wished to “keep the market share at a reasonable level.” That’s comforting.