Seafood from some parts of the Gulf of Mexico affected by the BP oil spill has been declared safe to eat, but do you want it on your dinner table?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced its support for the states of Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana as they reopen state waters to commercial fishing.
“Through close coordination with our state and federal partners, we are confident all appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that seafood harvested from the waters being opened today is safe and that Gulf seafood lovers everywhere can be confident eating and enjoying the fish and shrimp that will be coming out of this area.”
Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, also said:
“I have heard first-hand from commercial fishermen and seafood processors about not only the importance of getting back to their livelihoods, but also their commitment to protecting the health of their customers and making sure consumers have the most up-to-date and accurate information available.”
On the FDA’s Q & A page, the safety of seafood harvested in the Gulf Coast since the BP oil disaster and the use of dispersants in the area is addressed as follows.
“There is no reason to believe that any contaminated product has made its way to the market.
Available information indicates that the dispersants being used to combat the oil spill do not accumulate in seafood and therefore there is no public health concern from them due to seafood consumption. FDA will continue to monitor the use of dispersants and evaluate any changes in their use or composition.”
According to an Associated Press (AP) story, even some Gulf fishermen are questioning the safety of Gulf seafood.
“If I put fish in a barrel of water and poured oil and Dove detergent over that, and mixed it up, would you eat that fish?” asked Rusty Graybill, an oysterman and shrimp and crab fisherman from Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish. “I wouldn’t feed it to you or my family. I’m afraid someone’s going to get sick.”
Sign the Petition: Tell the FDA to Come Clean About Gulf Seafood
The safety of the Gulf’s seafood is in question because of the prolonged use of chemical dispersants on oil flowing out of the Deepwater Horizon oil well.
A study from Imperial College in London earlier this month revealed that oil spills can block the ocean’s natural ability to filter arsenic out of seawater. As these levels rise, the poison can enter the marine ecosystem and become more concentrated as it moves up the food chain. And samples of crab larvae from the area tested positive for hydrocarbons.
Consumers deserve to know the safety of the food they eat and what the FDA is doing to regulate the safety of seafood from the Gulf. Sign the Petition