Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mercury Again...the Tuna Chronicles

Most people don't realize that there are many different types of Tuna and there are different kinds of mercury. In an earlier post about mercury (see October 17, 2007), I noted that it doesn't much matter what type of mercury, as there can be hazards with all of them. All varieties of Tuna have varying levels of mercury - some have more than others. "Chunk light" canned Tuna has been shown in tests to usually have less mercury than albacore, but those results depend on which type of tuna is in the can and where it has been caught. As a consumer your eyeballs can start to roll trying to remember what Tuna might be safer than another. The links below from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) provide useful tables illustrating what to look for when buying Tuna and other fish.

To learn about some of the behind-the-scenes lobbying by the Tuna industry to keep the U.S. FDA from implementing more stringent guidelines regarding mercury in Tuna, you can read Stephanie Mencimer's article in Mother Jones (link below).

Arsenic in Rice, Mercury in Tuna, Lead in Lipstick.......and why isn't testing for heavy metals considered a standard screening and paid for by insurance? Hmmm...

Mother Jones Magazine - Why Mercury in Tuna is Still Legal, by Stephanie Mencimer

Consumer Reports - Mercury in Tuna -

See two helpful charts from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Eating Tuna Safely -
and the Consumer Guide to Mercury in Fish -

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) offers a helpful Seafood Selector. Here is the link for Tuna -

Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish & Shellfish from the U.S. EPA -

U.S. EPA site on Mercury -

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