Washington — In a study scheduled for April publication in the American Journal of Epidemiology, a team of nine respected scientists from Harvard and the University of Michigan found that women who ate the most fish (more than 2 weekly servings) during the second trimester of their pregnancies delivered children with the highest scores on two cognitive tests when they reached 3 years of age. This finding flies in the face of conventional wisdom about supposed dangers lurking in fish, especially for women of childbearing age. The research covered hundreds of mother-child pairs who enrolled in Project Viva, a Massachusetts-based study that has followed mothers since early pregnancy.

This study also confirmed that conventional wisdom about the healthfulness of eating canned tuna during pregnancy is dead wrong. Researchers wrote: “The 28 mothers (8 percent) who reported eating canned tuna at least twice weekly had children with higher scores … compared with the 130 mothers (38 percent) who reported never eating tuna fish” while pregnant.

Today, Center for Consumer Freedom Research Director David Martosko said: “At a time when environmental activists are branding fish with a skull and crossbones, this is helpful evidence that fish is still the same health food it’s always been. U.S. cases of mercury poisoning from eating fish have never materialized in the medical literature, but women who run away from the fish counter during their pregnancies are clearly putting their babies’ health at risk.”

Project Viva investigators have previously found that “fish intake among pregnant women declined following the 2001 federal mercury warnings” issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.

Martosko added: “Science doesn’t lie. Pregnant women who frequently eat canned tuna are having brainier children than those who don’t. Green groups have been demonizing tuna for years. Now it looks like they’ve been causing the very harm they sought to prevent. Women who swore off fish during their pregnancies in recent years were sadly misled, and they ought to be asking environmental activists for an apology.”

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