Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Private Seafood Tests Uncover Toxins Missed By Feds

Susan Buchanan, huffingtonpost.com:

Consumers used to worry about ordering seafood fried, instead of the healthier broiled-or-stewed option, but since the BP spill they're unsure about whether to eat it at all. Independent testing by environmental groups and individuals has accelerated since last April, and they've found toxins -- from oil, dispersants and other sources--in the local catch.

Government agencies, meanwhile, say seafood from reopened, Gulf fishing areas is safe to eat. The upshot for consumers is that when buying fish, ask questions and listen to any information that comes your way.

Peter Brabeck, environmental monitor at the nonprofit Louisiana Bucket Brigade, said last week, "we received test results a week ago from samples of oysters collected in Terrebonne Bay and Grand Bayou Felicity in Lafourche Parish." Those samples were tested by a Wisconsin lab run by Pace Analytical Services, which also has a sediment-and-water lab in St. Rose, La. The Bucket Brigade sent three, separate samples to Wisconsin, where they were chemically tested in batches of 7 to 9 oysters each.

"To my horror, the results showed extremely elevated levels of cadmium -- which is associated with oil from the BP spill," Brabeck said. The cadmium detected was 150 to 200 times what's considered safe for human consumption by the Environmental Protection Agency's carcinogenicity 'RfD' or oral reference doses for food, he said.
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