Gulf Seafood

I wouldn’t eat it. I don’t trust them to tell me the truth, frankly:

Q: But what about that controversial dispersant – are the feds testing for it?

A: Not yet; they’re still developing a good test.

Q: So why do they say dispersant isn’t a seafood threat?

A: Some dispersant chemicals are FDA-regulated ingredients in skin creams and even foods. FDA contends the stronger cleansing ingredients under question degrade too quickly in water to accumulate in fish flesh. In experiments under way in Texas and Alabama, federal scientists are dumping dispersant into tanks full of shrimp, oysters and crabs to try to detect even minute levels.

Still, some critics say a test is needed.

“Make this as comprehensive as possible,” says Susan Shaw of the Marine Environmental Research Institute in Maine. “It’s trying to make sure the needle in the haystack is not there.”

But the dispersant broke oil into smaller, easier-to-absorb droplets, meaning oil tests would detect seafood exposed to lots of dispersant, Dickhoff said.

“We believe the science is very compelling that there is not a human health concern for fish consumption with respect to dispersants,” added Donald Kraemer, who oversees FDA’s Gulf seafood testing.

The PAH testing reassures Maryland’s Mitchelmore: “At the end of the day, the oil is the toxic entity.”

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