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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are recommending that pregnant and nursing women and young children should eat only limited amounts of canned albacore "white" tuna because of potential hazards from mercury in the fish. The research reportedly shows that there are higher concentrations of mercury in the larger albacore species than in the smaller skipjack, or "chunk light" tuna.

The new recommendations say that consumers should eat no more than six ounces of albacore tuna per week, or about one meal. Tuna is the second most popular seafood in the US.

In addition, FDA and EPA suggested that women of childbearing age should avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because of high mercury levels.

Despite the recommendations, there were dissents from both sides of the issue. One of the members of the FDA panel, University of Arizona toxicology professor Vas Aposhian, resigned from the advisory group, saying that the recommendations were inadequate. At the same time, the tuna industry questions the scientific findings underlying the new government recommendation.

Complicating the issue is the fact there has been research indicating high-quality proteins and nutrients important for brain development can be found in tuna and other fish.

Mercury comes from industrial pollution that gets into water and then the food supply, and can cause neurological and developmental problems in infants and young children.
KC's View:
The good news, for us at least, is that salmon hasn’t been slammed in this newest set of recommendations. (Thank goodness.)

The bad news for all consumers is that the confusion about what is good to eat and bad to eat continues to grow. All the old conventional wisdom seems to get tossed out, and, quite frankly, it isn’t being replaced by anything that we find to be remotely credible.

That's not good for food retailers, or the seafood business.