Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gulf Seafood Still Toxic; Coverup Underway

Shrimp, crab, and other seafood taken from the Gulf of Mexico still contains toxic levels of dispersant sprayed by BP in the aftermath of the oil spill disaster, and the FDA is doing its best to conceal that fact.

On October 29th, the FDA and NOAA finally issued a press release announcing the beginning of a testing program for dispersant residues in seafood. The devil, as usual, is in the details.

The allowed level of contamination has been set at 100 parts per million for fish, and 500 parts per million for shrimp, crab, and oysters. By contrast, when runoff water from your neighborhood storm drain reaches the sea, the maximum allowed level of chemical residue is 5 parts per million.

Think about this, my friends. When runoff water goes into the sea, the maximum allowed level of chemical residue, is 5 parts per million. But for seafood you are going to eat, they allow 500 parts per million? One hundred times as much, and this is supposed to be "safe"? And at that, they are only testing for the least toxic of the contaminants.

(direct quote from story in Al Jazeera English)
Hugh Kaufman is a senior policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) office of solid waste and emergency response. Kaufman, a leading critic of the US government's decision to use Corexit, told Al Jazeera this about the press release: "They say it perfectly clear: the purpose of the test they developed is to make the public confident, not whether the seafood was safe or not."

"They selected the one compound that doesn’t bio-accumulate, as opposed to testing for the toxic ingredients that have a low safety threshold and do build up in tissue. They are not looking for those."

Kaufman, who has been the EPA's chief investigator on several contamination cases, including Love Canal and Times Beach, said: "They want to be able to tell the public the seafood is safe. But if you are going to test seafood to see if it’s safe or not, you want to test for the ingredients of Corexit that have a low safety threshold and do bio-accumulate in tissue."
(end direct quote from AJE)

And there you have it, dear reader, a direct quote from an experienced EPA specialist. The government is lying to you, coldly and deliberately, in order to cover up the results of their own incompetent failure to regulate BP. And note please, I am being generous in attributing this screw up to incompetence rather than blatant corruption.

Original story at AJE here.

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