The federal government is going out of its way to assure the public that seafood pulled from recently reopened Gulf of Mexico waters is safe to consume, in spite of the largest accidental release of crude oil in America's history.
However, testing methodologies used by the government to deem areas of water safe for commercial fishing are woefully inadequate and permit high levels of toxic compounds to slip into the human food chain, according to a series of scientific and medical professionals interviewed by Raw Story.
In two separate cases, a toxicologist and a chemist independently confirmed their seafood samples contained unusually high volumes of crude oil and harmful hydrocarbons -- and some of this food was allegedly being sent to market.
One test, conducted by a chemist from Mobile, Alabama, employed a rudimentary chemical analysis of shrimp pulled from waters near Louisiana and found "oil and grease" in their digestive tracts.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) tests, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have focused on the animal's flesh, with samples shelled and cleaned before undergoing examination.
Unfortunately, many Gulf coast residents prepare shrimp whole, tossing the creatures into boiling water shells and all.
"I wouldn't eat shrimp, fish or crab caught in the Gulf," said Robert M. Naman, a chemist at ACT Labs in Mobile, Alabama, who conducted the test after being contacted by a New Orleans activist. "The problems people will face, health-wise, are something that people don't understand."
Naman also found that the oil was at an unusual high concentration: 193 parts-per-million (PPM).
Multiple independent lab tests confirm oil in Gulf shrimp
Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010