Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsHealth

THE NATION

Tuna Risk to Pregnancy Is Told

July 26, 2002|From Associated Press

BELTSVILLE, Md. — The government should tell pregnant women to limit their consumption of tuna because of concern that eating lots of the fish could expose an unborn baby's developing brain to possibly harmful mercury levels, scientific advisors recommended Thursday.

It is not clear how much tuna women should eat, the advisors said--perhaps two 6-ounce cans a week if that is the only fish they eat, or a single can if other seafood, which also can contain mercury, is part of their diet.

The panel urged the Food and Drug Administration to quickly study what proportion of the mercury in a woman's diet comes from tuna so more precise advice can be given. In the interim, extra care was suggested.

"Nobody wants to tell people to stop eating tuna fish," said the panel chairman, Sanford Miller of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. "We're trying to balance the very positive virtues of fish, including tuna fish, with the harms. It's a very hard balance to make."

Industry representatives testified that few pregnant women eat enough fish, much less tuna, to absorb worrisome mercury levels.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|