UPI: Stricter testing sought for gulf seafood

| News

December 13th, 2010
 
 

 

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. activists say seafood-testing procedures in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill need to be changed to reflect seafood consumption in the region.

A survey released by the National Resources Defense Council shows gulf residents consume far more seafood than the amounts used by the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to determine the level of concern over potentially cancer-causing contaminants in seafood as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Monday.

"I've been requesting over and over that we redo the calculations and adapt to the dietary habits of the people on the coast," said chemist Wilma Subra, president of a Louisiana lab and environmental consulting firm that has been testing all types of seafood in the aftermath of the spill.

"I really do have concerns about the safety of the seafood," Subra said. "And a lot of it centers around the FDA calculations of what people consume in terms of amounts of seafood."

The FDA's levels are being measured against a national average of consumption. In the case of shrimp, it's about one meal a week as small as 3 ounces, or about four jumbo shrimp.

The NRDC survey showed that many gulf residents consume three to 12 times that amount.

"The FDA protocol is absolutely 100 percent inadequate," said Peter Brabeck, an environmental monitor for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. "No question about it."

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. 

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/12/13/Stricter-testing-sought-for-g...

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