Safety testing on Gulf seafood

Jul 20, 2011

Government assurances that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are the result of a monitoring and testing program that continues more than a year after the April 20, 2010 disaster. The little-known story of the effort by Federal agencies to assure safety of Gulf seafood is the topic of the cover article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS's weekly news magazine.

In the story, C&EN Senior Correspondent Ann Thayer points out that U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials say ongoing tests consistently show amounts of potentially toxic substances in 100 to 1,000 times smaller than those posing health concerns. The spill, of 4.9 million barrels of oil, forced closing of 88,522 square miles of fisheries, about one-third of the entire Gulf.

Thayer describes how FDA worked on an urgent basis with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and state agencies to set up the monitoring program. The program uses approaches that range from sniff tests to sophisticated laboratory analysis. The results underpinned decisions by Federal and state authorities on closing and reopening Gulf fisheries. Officials allowed a gradual reopening of Gulf waters, with the final sector declared safe in April 2011. Safety monitoring continues and despite the reassuring results, safety concerns linger among some scientists and consumers, the article indicates.

Explore further: Priorities for research on pharmaceutical and personal care products in the environment

More information: "Testing Gulf Seafood" pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/89/8929cover.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NOAA: Gulf seafood tested so far is safe to eat

Jul 10, 2010

(AP) -- Shrimp, grouper, tuna and other seafood snatched from the fringes of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico are safe to eat, according to a federal agency inspecting the catch.

Gulf of Mexico fishing ban extended

May 25, 2010

US officials Tuesday expanded a fishing ban in the Gulf of Mexico by more than 8,000 square miles (20,000 square kilometers) amid a spreading oil slick.

Study: Americans worried about the quality of Gulf seafood

Jun 28, 2010

Americans are almost universally aware of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and they are concerned about its potential impact on the safety of Gulf seafood, according to new data from a continuing survey conducted by the ...

Federal agencies say seafood safe

Dec 10, 2005

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

Recommended for you

Implications for the fate of green fertilizers

8 hours ago

The use of green fertilizers is a practice that has been around since humans first began growing food, but researchers are warning that modern techniques for the creation of these fertilizers could have implications ...

Ditching coal a massive step to climate goal: experts

9 hours ago

Phasing out coal as an electricity source by 2050 would bring the world 0.5 degrees Celsius closer to the UN's targeted cap for climate warming, an analysis said on the eve of Tuesday's UN climate summit.

Monitoring heavy metals using mussels

12 hours ago

A research team in Malaysia has concluded that caged mussels are useful for monitoring heavy metal contamination in coastal waters in the Strait of Johore. Initial results indicate more pollution in the eastern ...

User comments : 0