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Report: Kids should only eat tuna once a month
September 19th, 2012
01:33 PM ET

Report: Kids should only eat tuna once a month

Parents, take note: A new report from the Mercury Policy Project says kids should only eat light tuna once or twice a month to keep their mercury intake at a safe level.

Report author Dr. Edward Groth analyzed 59 tuna samples from around the country, including a few school districts.  He recommends kids who weigh less than 55 pounds eat light tuna only once a month; kids more than 55 pounds can eat tuna twice a month.

Children should avoid eating white albacore tuna all together, the group says, as it was found to have triple the amount of mercury as light tuna. The brand of tuna doesn't seem to matter, as Groth found varying levels of mercury in each can he tested.

Mercury has been linked to cognitive decline in infants. There have been no epidemiological studies on the effects of mercury in children in the United States, according to Groth, but scientists suspect that the chemical harms developing kids the same way it's been shown to harm fetuses.

Although there are still a lot of uncertainties, "We think people need advice now," Groth said.

Read the full report

Video: Mercury levels in tuna


soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. bob

    Dang it, it seems like all of my favorite foods are now "dangerous". In all honesty, I doubt that anything is safe to eat anymore, unless it was lab grown in sterile conditions. :-/

    September 19, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sumdumfuq

      That won't work either. Six months from now they will discover that the chemicals they use in the labs to sterilize the grow pots will be cancer causing.

      September 19, 2012 at 19:57 | Report abuse |
    • Lenny

      UNFORTUNATELY, THE POISONING OF FOOD ONLY HAPPENS IN THE US.A clear example worthy of note is the one of the “pink slime” issue where after thirty years we just learned that this was not real beef but an industrial-sized vat of gelatinous goo mixed with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens. This case corroborates one more time that there are fundamental flows in the regulatory process. The centralized power of these agencies have been used against consumers who deliberately have been kept in the dark about what we are eating, where it come from and what are doing to our bodies. As you know GMO'S (Genetically Modified Organisms) have been associated with potential harm to humans. A little background concerning them might be appropriate at this point. -Through several animal studies, GMOs have been linked with the following health problems: allergies, gastrointestinal disease, pre cancerous cell growth, infertility changes in major organs, faulty insulin regulation, and accelerated signs of aging. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine urges physicians to advise their patients to eat a GMO free diet.

      -This product has been banned in several countries for good reason. In 2009, Germany joined France, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Austria, Poland and Romania in banning GMO. GMOS are also required to be labeling in 50 countries around the world; United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, China, New Zealand and many others. Yet the United States is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t require labeling of GE food. Another twenty-two countries in Europe have regions wanting to be GM-free. States in Australia, regions in New Zealand and Brazil, the countries of Venezuela, Zambia, Sudan, Angola, and others, all want to be GM-free.

      September 19, 2012 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • wvgiant

      Ummmm, Lenny..... get a clue mate. The tuna is not "grown" in the US. I would be very surprised if tuna from the Indian Ocean didn't have high levels of mercury and that's nowhere near the US. All of the oceans are polluted from all countries, every single country in the world whether they have a coastline or not, and we are all to blame even if we did not consciously throw wastes into the water. Unless you are a caveman or one of those "minimally touched" indigenous tribes in the middle of a rain forest you have directly or indirectly contributed to the mercury and other toxins in the ocean, air and ground.....

      It's just another indicator that all ocean-created food should be avoided, and freshwater foods should be scrutinized. Eat tuna once a month and albacore never.... to me that means "never". Shame, too, since I love seafood but value my kids' health far more of course.... :-(

      September 19, 2012 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
    • smdahl

      Of course CNN omits the recent universtiy studies finding ALL Tuna are radioactive. These poisons come from our idiot Industry & military "leaders". How long before we fence them in at Fukushima people? HOW LONG will we let them poison or Chlldren?

      September 19, 2012 at 22:58 | Report abuse |
    • Lawless4U

      Lenny you have no idea what you are talking about. China actually has been caught adding sunstances to food fo rone reason or another that causes harm.

      All industrial countries have toxins in their soil and water, maybe not to the level of the USA but they are still present.

      September 20, 2012 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
  2. Marshall Milligan

    To Dr. Edward Groth: How much More do we have to Ingest about the Dangers of Mercury to Children and Adults from the Eating of Fish from the Sea! Being a Person of Average Education and Tolerance with the Process of Media Distribution,I find this to be Totally Misguided? If anyone does something for a Long enough period of time it always seems like in the End We All could have done things a Little Differently? Mankind it it's ability to Survive the Mistakes of Previous Generations has Come to the Conclusion that Quitting the Practice will Eliminate the Problem?With the New efforts to Eliminate Mercury Seeping in to the Worlds Systems,it probably will take another Century to Educate the World in It's Inability to Save Itself from Destruction from It's Own Mediocrity! Thanks Doc!

    September 19, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Erica

      What's next? A report on the dangers of random and inexplicable capitalization in a post? Oh the horror!!!

      September 19, 2012 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      You have a unique take on things, Marshall.

      September 19, 2012 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • Lenny

      ONE MOE THING.Our children need to eat food. Not "food-like" food which is filled with chemicals for flavoring, chemicals for color, chemicals for preserving it, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, meat with ammonia doused "pink slime", or genetically modified food which are currently “hidden” from us untested for toxicity. -There are a number of dangers that broadly fall into the categories of potential toxins, allergens, carcinogens, new diseases, antibiotic resistant diseases, and nutritional problems. Children face the greatest risk from the potential dangers of GM foods for the same reasons that they also face the greatest risk from other hazards like pesticides in the fruit and vegetables.

      September 19, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
    • Stu

      Wow Marshall, that is the most random use of capitlization I have ever seen.

      September 19, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
  3. bibleverse1

    So I shouldnt eat a whole one.

    September 19, 2012 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • shrilnkDave

      That's what she said.

      September 19, 2012 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
  4. Prince_Adam

    I eat three large amounts of tuna three times a week.And I will NOT STOP because 'CNN' told me to.Amateurs

    September 19, 2012 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jburns9999

      Good for you. As a plus you'll be able to take your own temperature.

      September 19, 2012 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      Haha good one, jburns!

      September 19, 2012 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • Go_For_it

      Good for you. You have probably already eaten so much mercury that it has already affected your ability to think straight.

      September 19, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Yep, and be sure and buy yourself a good supply of pink slime. Munch til you drop!

      September 19, 2012 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
  5. PrincE_AlberT

    Erica, Excellent Catch & Very funnY Post.

    September 19, 2012 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dennis

    No article is complete unless it reminds everyone where that mercury came from.

    Burning coal for electricity.

    September 19, 2012 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gobsmacked

      Thanks for that Dennis. Sigh. There was a time not long ago when it was said to eat only light tuna b/c of merc. Then it was, no, only eat albacore. So, we are back to light now? I suppose if you don't eat much in the way of other fish, you might have a little leeway on the tuna consumption? And, it cannot be good for adults as well if it is bad for kids, tho I understand why it would be worse for kids. Planet earth is a cesspool!

      September 19, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      Came here to say that. It's actually astonishing how many people don't know.

      September 19, 2012 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • PigBodine

      Oh the bitter irony when we open the can with the electric opener

      September 20, 2012 at 00:05 | Report abuse |
  7. Corey

    Canned tuna is gross I think but I do grill Yellowfin tuna steaks every now and then and I am sure they have as much if not a lot more mercury in them. It sucks to know that we are poisoning everything on our planet from our food to our water to our air.

    September 19, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Michael Goddard

    How about limiting mercury release into the environment! Tuna are just fine – its the damn 'fallout' from coal fired plants that dump that toxin into the environment. Another economic 'externality' . But this is a real cost. How about a tuna tax on the electricity we consume....

    September 19, 2012 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Willow

    What is with the spate of dangerous foods lately, and a lot of it being shelf-stable foods? First rice, now canned tuna? I question the validity of these reports.

    September 19, 2012 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. mre2

    Before you get too concerned, do realize that this report is entirely from an activist group on a mission. From their own statement, they work "to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at the local, national, and international levels". Clearly, this is not based upon an objective assessment of the risk.

    September 19, 2012 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Person

      "objective assessment of the risk" – this is always the real danger, because it's the kind of thinking that allows x cancer cases per y population, etc. How about reducing risk as low as possible? We don't, because we need "profit". I say, redirect all profit to reducing risk. Make safety the new profit.

      September 20, 2012 at 01:16 | Report abuse |
    • dr

      Right.. because spouting off the "potential health benefits" and "aesthetic qualities" of mercury should be what these "activists" are doing instead. Sounds just like a Fox News junkie to demand everything be "fair and balanced", because both sides are always right!

      September 20, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  11. Ewel Gibbons

    Pine cone, anyone?

    September 19, 2012 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. indep100

    What is the limit for cs-137 in tuna? Reports are that tuna off the California coast were found to have injested Fukushima cs-137. Cesium is treated like potassium by your body.

    September 19, 2012 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Super tired of BS

    And why tuna has mercury? like the rice, there is nothing wrong with tuna. What it is wrong again is the junk added to any food we eat.

    September 19, 2012 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MashaSobaka

      Tuna has mercury because mercury is a byproduct of burning coal for energy. It's not added to the tuna once it reaches the processing plant.

      September 19, 2012 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
  14. RI

    Irresponsible journalism. This is one persons report with clear bias and what kind of science is this, 59 tuna samples?? I am a physician who advocates for a healthy diet for the brain, but my recommendations are based on science. Not 59 tuna samples.

    September 19, 2012 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MashaSobaka

      As a physician, then, you are probably aware that the mercury levels in species higher on the food chain are at unsafe levels. Why the huffiness?

      September 19, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
    • geo

      You should take a look at the seafood consumption advisories posted on your state's websites. Maine has one that will open your eyes. And these are mild advisories meant to fulfill requirements while not alarming the public.
      You shouldn't be eating any fish at all.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
  15. mike

    I used to eat tuna all the time as a kid. And I tout urned OK.

    September 19, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. SKae

    My mother was spot on. We never had tuna in our house! No one liked it... but in retrospect, it probably was a good thing! I still hate the thought of tuna "anything." Yuck.

    September 19, 2012 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lou50

      you probably have flabby skin unless you are obese.

      September 20, 2012 at 00:07 | Report abuse |
  17. CATT

    Wow and we thought it was only vaccines and dental fillings we had to be aware of. LOL

    September 19, 2012 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. C

    I am amazed that people still eat the cat food.

    September 19, 2012 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Mark D

    This is bull. Eating healthy whole grains and drinking real green tea (not the tea in a can) cancels out the mercury. We need to do our own homework and not take this kind of misleading journalism to heart.

    September 20, 2012 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark D

      Here's a link to a study showing that eating plant fibers and polyphenols cancels out the mercury http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=20676220

      September 20, 2012 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  20. REPEAL!

    School lunches have become a nightmare for kids across America! Everyday, they are paying more for less food. While the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Act" had good intentions, it has failed and needs to be repealed! More food is ending up in the trash and less in student's stomach! Join the movement here: https://www.facebook.com/EndofSchoolLunchRegulation

    September 20, 2012 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. JeffinIL

    It's a sandwich and a rectal thermometer!

    September 20, 2012 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
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