Federal agencies say seafood safe

December 10, 2005

Federal officials and officials from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana say there is no reason to be concerned over eating Gulf states seafood.

The states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have analyzed hundreds of samples of fish and shellfish from the waters affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"The samples were analyzed for chemical and microbiological contaminants that could have been introduced by the hurricanes in the estuaries of New Orleans to Gulf Shores, Ala.," the officials said in a statement. "The sampled areas included Lake Pontchartrain, Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay as well as the offshore areas of the northern Gulf of Mexico."

The results of additional monitoring will be announced as they become available, the EPA said.

Some oyster harvest areas have been tested and re-opened, while other areas await routine sampling by existing state Moll scan Shellfish Programs to determine when oyster harvesting can resume.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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