Group pushes to remove tuna from school lunch menus

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CINCINNATI - A group called "The Mercury Policy Project" is pushing federal leaders to phase out tuna from school lunch menus.

The group published a study Wednesday suggesting that some canned tuna has higher levels of mercury than recommended by federal guidelines.

The group tested nearly 60 samples.

They found albacore tuna tripled a child's exposure to mercury.

The Food and Drug Administration already recommends that pregnant women limit their intake of fish and shellfish to 12 ounces a week, but researchers in this study believe children should limit their servings as well.

Researchers say children should never eat albacore tuna. Although it does have nutritional factors, researchers say the risk of mercury exposure far outweighs any potential benefit.

The group also says young children should only eat light tuna once a month and that children should never be allowed to eat tuna every day.

The author of the study called on the Department of Agriculture to phase out tuna from the school lunch program and end federal subsidies.

Leaders in the tuna industry dispute these recommendations, saying that canned tuna is safe and nutritious.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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