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Comment: Tuna and mercury: New tests by Consumer Reports

To the editors:


There’s nothing new in Consumer Reports magazine’s recent crusade against canned tuna. [“Tuna and mercury: New tests by Consumer Reports,” Dec. 12] The magazine tested a few dozen cans of tuna and found methylmercury levels that are far too low to represent a health concern.


How safe is tuna to eat? Ask the Consumer Reports editors. They held an office holiday party in New York City a few weeks ago, and “spicy tuna tartare” was on the menu. You can’t make this stuff up.


It’s not surprising that a few stubborn holdouts on the magazine’s staff still won’t believe that fish is a health food. But eventually most people—including the federal government—will come around. The largest study of its kind, led by National Institutes of Health doctor Joseph Hibbeln, found that women who don’t eat fish (including tuna) during their pregnancies are twice as likely to have kids with developmental and IQ deficits. Indeed, the women in this enormous study with the smartest kids were those who ignored the Environmental Protection Agency’s advisory.


Consumer Reports should stick to rating toasters and minivans. And Americans should be eating more fish, not less. Scaring women away from the fish counter amounts to public health malpractice.




David Martosko

Director of Research, Center for Consumer Freedom


[email protected]

1090 Vermont Avenue NW

Washington DC, 20005