Gulf Seafood Chemically Tested for Oil, But Not Dispersant

Gulf coast seafoodReporter Miriam Wang of the ProPublica blog points out that although seafood from the Gulf has been tested for oil content, testers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) neglected to test whether the chemical dispersant applied to the oil in the Gulf could be found in the seafood. She writes, "[The] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the FDA and the Gulf states have been rigorously testing Gulf seafood for oil ... But they’re not chemically testing -- at least, not yet -- for the presence of oil dispersant. BP has thus far applied more than 1.7 million gallons of one chemical dispersant, Corexit, to the Gulf." The major problem: the FDA has not the slightest idea what effects the dispersant has on sea animals that become seafood. “There’s not a huge body of research that has been done,” Meghan Scott, an FDA spokeswoman, said in the article. “While we are finding that [dispersant] is harmful to the living fish itself, there’s a difference between what it does to a living fish and any harm that it might have for a human consuming a fish that was in or near water with dispersant in it.”