Is the Metal in Tuna Cans Safe?

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Are There Concerns about Metal in Tuna Cans?

Canned tuna is a healthy addition to any meal. It is an excellent source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. Canned tuna also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to improve heart health, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014)
With increasing consumption of canned seafood including tuna around the world, (FishWatch, 2013) there have been concerns over the metal in tuna cans posing a risk to our health. What exactly is this metal, and are these concerns valid?

Concerns over Metals and Lining of Packaging

Tuna cans are made of steel. These cans are lined with an epoxy resin to prevent the food from coming into contact with the metal. BPA (Bispenol A) is often one of the components of epoxy resin. Some research has suggested possible concerns with exposure to BPA which can seep into food from the lining in the can. However, after reviewing hundreds of studies, BPA has been declared safe when it occurs at very low levels in foods (The Mayo Clinic, 2014).
Because of the consumer hype and media attention surrounding BPA and its use in metal cans, Clover Leaf is in the process of removing BPA from all the linings of its packaging.
It is important to stress that ‘Best Before’ does not mean ‘Bad After’! For optimal flavour experience it is in the consumer’s best interest to consume canned tuna before the ‘Best Before Date’, generally found stamped on the can.

Concerns over the Sustainability of Canned Tuna

There is conflicting information about the abundance of different tuna stocks around the world. Is there enough tuna to meet the increases in consumer demand? Are tuna stocks strong enough to continue supplying healthy seafood for future generations?
Most of the world’s tuna stocks, canned for commercial purposes, are abundant, and conservation efforts are being put in place to ensure that these stocks remain strong. The species of tuna harvested for canning in Canada are:
  • Skipjack
  • Albacore
  • Yellowfin
These species are largely abundant according to the latest tuna stock numbers (ISSF, 2014a) provided by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation’s (ISSF) Technical Report. The ISSF is an organization that is comprised of acclaimed scientists, tuna industry experts from different sectors as well as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the world’s leading conservation organization. These members have different backgrounds and expertise but they are united by a common concern over the future of tuna stocks and the desire to improve sustainability.
Clover Leaf relies on scientific findings from the ISSF in order to determine the maximum sustainable yields (MSY) for each tuna stock and ways to minimize bycatch (ISSF, 2014b) using effective fishing methods such as FAD fishing (Tuna Sustainability, 2010). These findings are essential for preventing overfishing, preserving marine life and developing effective long-term sustainability plans.
As a founding member of the ISSF, Clover Leaf is working toward maximizing tuna sustainability to ensure that families will be able to enjoy the benefits of healthy canned tuna for generations to come.

Works Cited

FishWatch. (2013, December 5). The Surprising Sources of Your Favorite Seafoods. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from FishWatch :

ISSF. (2014a). ISSF Technical Report 2013-04A: Status Of The World Fisheries For Tuna 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2014, from International Seafood Sustainability Foundation:

ISSF. (2014b). Our Story. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from International Seafood Sustainability Foundation:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, February 7). Omega-3 in fish: How eating fish helps your heart. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Mayo Clinic:

The Mayo Clinic. (2014). What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA? Retrieved November 15, 2014, from Healthy Lifestyle - Nutrition and healthy eating:

Tuna Sustainability. (2010, December 23). Glossary: FAD. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from YouTube:

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