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February 16, 2006

Tuna Industry Busted

Thanks, New York Times!! Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Marian Burros, longtime and respected nutrition and food writer for the New York Times, writes in today’s paper (Titled: Eating Well: Advisories on Fish and the Pitfalls of Good Intent, pg. D4) that the tuna canning industry is using subterfuge (I’m being polite here) to mislead moms, kids and others about the danger of mercury contamination of seafood. Ms. Burros, taking out her editorial whip, castigates the tuna canning industry for putting profits ahead of people’s health. She writes:

Among those who want people to eat tuna, no matter what its mercury content, are those who process it and put it in cans. Sometimes they say so directly through the United States Tuna Foundation, and sometimes they pay others, like the Center for Consumer Freedom, to say it for them.

She notes that the tuna industry paid most or all of the cost of two self-serving studies – one by Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and one by the Center for Food Nutrition and Agriculture Policy at the University of Maryland.   The goal of the tuna industry’s $26 million PR effort apparently is to pay people at Universities and PR firms to call anyone who informs the public about the FDA’s scientifically accepted advisories fear-mongers.

Ms. Burros concludes that consumers can get all the omega 3 their bodies need from eating canned wild salmon … while avoiding yummy stuff from mercury-tainted tuna, like neurological damage to the brain. She even gives a couple of recipes. Try them out at: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/15/dining/15well.html?_r=1&oref=slogin