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Pregnant women should not eat tuna.
(2010-10-21) Since tuna is often contaminated with lead, mercury and cadmium, pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children should only eat small amounts of tuna, according to a statement in the current issue of the Austrian consumer magazine "Konsument".
Heavy metal contamination in all samples The investigation by the Association for Consumer Information (VKI), which publishes the test magazine “Konsument”, showed that caution should be exercised when consuming tuna, and not only with regard to the processed species. Lead and cadmium were detected in all tuna samples examined, although always below the permissible limit. With cadmium, however, the permissible limit values are exhausted up to 72 percent. Not without problems, since the element is suspected to have a carcinogenic effect.
However, the mercury pollution of tuna is a real problem for health. Here, too, the limit values are not exceeded in any sample, but the toxic heavy metal accumulates in the body over time. According to the experts, risk groups such as pregnant women, nursing mothers or small children should generally not consume large amounts of tuna. “Even if it is surprising: it is better to use a can than fresh tuna. Because mainly tuna species contaminated with mercury such as Skipjack and yellowfin tuna as well as smaller fish are canned, "stressed nutritional scientist from the VKI, Birgit Beck compared to" The Standard ". In addition, in some cases greatly increased histamine values were detected. These are also Still within the limits, "those who suffer from histamine intolerance should still avoid tuna. Even small amounts of histamine can lead to pseudo-allergic reactions," said the nutritionist from the VKI.
Many tuna species threatened with extinction Also problematic, not from a health point of view but from the point of view of nature conservation, is the processing of species that are in some cases very threatened and by-catch in the nets of the fishermen. Since the indication of the processed tuna as well as the indication of the fishing area is voluntary, "Transparency for customers (...) certainly looks different," said VKI sustainability expert Peter Blazek. The specialist added: "Consumers should at least be able to to opt for the consumption of less endangered tuna species. In our view, there is still a need for action in terms of labeling. " Tuna is one of the most endangered fish species, and despite declining stocks, annual production has increased tenfold over the past 50 years to around five million tonnes. (fp)