In a survey of three national brands of tuna in the United States, most cans exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety level for human consumption.
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Are there some brands of tuna worse than others? An evaluation of mercury concentrations in three national brands of canned tuna was undertaken recently. In total they found that “55% of all tuna examined was above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety level for human consumption.”
Mercury is not just a problem for children. As I’ve noted in videos over the years, the “Health effects resulting from consumption of methylmercury for adults are considerable and may include central nervous system damage, ataxia, paresthesia, hearing loss, diminishing vision, loss of sensation to extremities, and loss of consciousness leading to death.” “Due to the increased susceptibility of the developing nervous system,” though, “damages are more pronounced in fetuses, infants, and children and may include microcephaly, which is a shrunken brain, delayed development, impaired cogni- tion, and gross neurological disorders”
Given the average level of mercury pollution found in canned tuna they suggest that your average 9 year old would exceed the EPA limit eating any more than a can of tuna every 43 days.
This is not the first study of canned tuna. Previous studies going back nearly 20 years found levels of mercury that were bad, but not as bad as the ones found now. The problem of mercury in tuna appears to be getting worse and worse.
But which brand was the worst? National brand #3 contained significantly more mercury than the other two but, they failed to disclose which brand was which. All they said was that “These results indicate that stricter regulation of the canned tuna industry is necessary to ensure the safety of sensitive populations such as pregnant women, infants, and children.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena Mylchreest
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This is the last video of a three-part series on the latest on the risks of mercury in fish. See yesterday's NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Nerves of Mercury and Hair Testing for Mercury Before Consider Pregnancy for parts 1 & 2. For more on the effects of mercury in fish on adults, check out Fish Fog. For more videos on canned tuna, see Carcinogenic Putrescine, The Effect of Canned Tuna on Future Wages, Amalgam Fillings vs. Canned Tuna, and Mercury in Vaccinations vs. Tuna. Then there are a thousand other topics I cover!