Sunday, February 27, 2011

The beaches are open.

Don't you feel kind of funny when there is some big disaster and you are worried sick because the consequences just might be catastrophic or at least highly dangerous... then someone who happens to have a vested interest in things assures you that everything will be fine. Those assurances just don't work very well on the skeptical.
I mean, you have to keep the beaches open, keep the fishermen and shrimpers working, keep people coming to the hotels and restaurants. Remember last Spring and Summer when the reports seemed to be rolling in about how seafood was pretty safe to eat, and even that the oil had nearly disappeared!?! (except for those tar-balled beaches)

Like this report from April of 2010:
Expert: Gulf Oil Spill Won't Ruin Your Shrimp Dinner
Says Mike Voisin, past president of the National Fisheries Institute:
“No one should be worrying about whether the shrimp they're having for dinner is going to have oil on it... First, no company wants to put that kind of product on the market... And those areas that have oil in them will be blocked by state health officials and not harvested.”

Voisin also claims that fish like tuna and shrimp will instinctively migrate away from the oil spill. He did admit that oysters are the most at risk because they lack the ability to move.

Here is something more recent that suggests otherwise:
Multiple independent lab tests confirm oil in Gulf shrimp

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 don't eat seafood, as you probably already know, but this is a pretty big concern for the health of the general public, in my opinion. Have you read about the recent rash of baby dolphin deaths? At last count it was up to 60, which is many times what is considered normal. Dolphins are on top of the food chain, and it's still not clear what is causing this death. Wondering how long it will be before the human health consequences become evident, and also wondering how the corporate-influenced media will spin it.

1 comment:

Professor Chaos said...

A couple weeks ago, I made the mistake of ordering a shrimp and crawfish po'boy at a reputable restaurant here in Atlanta. A few hours later I was violently ill. Could be a coincidence, but I kinda doubt it.