Too Much Consumer Reports, Too Much Misinformation

Consumer Reports is back at it with another error-ridden, alarmist take on tuna and health. We had some fun last time pointing out the absurdity of much of the magazine’s nutrition-based recommendations (see below), but the underlying reality is no laughing matter. Anti-science fear-mongering like this contributes to a very real, ongoing public-health crisis: falling seafood consumption among expectant moms and their kids, the very groups who need it most. The best science shows that inadequate seafood consumption during pregnancy leads to lower IQs, and in adults is the second-largest dietary cause of preventable deaths.


In fact, reckless journalism like this is one reason the FDA is revisiting its guidance and communications on seafood consumption among pregnant and nursing women and children. So its telling that in a report prompted by FDAs review, Consumer Reports fails to disclose to readers that FDA went out of its way to rebuke their last batch of anti-scientific nonsense.

Consumer Reports adds little new this time around, and fails to address the key omissions we called them on.

They did cherry-pick a recent study on yellowfina classic outlier that seems to contradict 50 years of settled science. But they just as easily could have cited another study, from the University of Rochester, that was released at almost the same time. It looked at 1,500 mothers and their children from the Seychelles Islandswhose inhabitants eat fish as many as 12 times a weekover three decades, and found zero evidence that exceptionally high-seafood diets lead to any negative consequences in developing children. Indeed, it proved that mothers with higher levels of the fatty acids found in fish had children with superior motor and cognitive function.

But that doesnt sell as many magazines as phony alarmism, so you wont see it in Consumer Reports.