Consumer Reports Strikes Again: Who’s Minding the Misinformation?

Is it Groundhog Day? ‘Cause it sure feels like it. Consumer Reports (CR) is at it again with its typical anti-tuna rhetoric. In CRs latest tuna tale, they attempt to spook children. Thankfully, parents can find accurate seafood advice on easily-accessible independent websites, to avoid the blatant misinformation propagated by CR.

The federal authority on health and nutrition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urges pregnant women and young children to eat more fish, including canned tuna, and just last month blasted Consumer Reports for its August seafood report, calling CRs methodology flawed because it overestimates the negative effects and overlooks the strong body of scientific evidence published in the last decade.

The new FDA /EPA advice to pregnant women and young children on eating seafood is based on a 10 year review of 110 independent, published, peer-reviewed studies. The volume of time, attention and resources given to the FDA/EPA study absolutely dwarfs the review this consumer electronics magazine touts.

In fact, according to the FDAs most conservative scientific estimate (page 113) pregnant women can eat up to 56 ounces per week of albacore tuna, and 164 ounces per week of light canned tuna.

For Consumer Reports to suggest pregnant women eat zero ounces per week, and now for children to limit or avoid tuna altogether, is nothing short of embarrassing. With recommendations that fly in the face of international health organizations and legitimate public health professionals, CR continues to find itself further removed from mainstream nutrition science.

And in addition to dismissing a decades worth of science that reviewed 110 independent, published studies, CR further marginalizes itself by citing a single unpublished, not peer-reviewed report that, didnt conduct a survey to find out how commonly tuna is served in schools, adding that [the study author has] heard ‘anecdotal’ references to the frequency of tuna served in lunches of a friends grandson in New Jersey.

Its time for Consumer Reports to get back to its core competency: testing vacuum cleaners and the latest Prius. Leave important nutrition advice to the MDs, PhDs, and RDs who dive into years of peer-reviewed science that most certainly dont rely on hearsay from friends (or their grandsons in New Jersey) before making any recommendations.