Thursday, August 19, 2010

Highlights of Seafood Safety Testimony

Representative Ed Markey conducted a one man show as Chair of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Environment. His first BP Seafood Safety panel featured a number of scientists, his second scientists and shrimpers. A few highlights:

1. NOAA won't release their methodology for calculating their "Oil Budget."

2. FDA is testing fish tissues for dispersant ingredient DOS, a nontoxic component. It has no methodolgy for testing toxic components of dispersant.

3. FDA is testing fish from non-oiled areas of the Gulf. The major test is a smell test, conducted by trained workers.

4. EPA doesn't know if there is oil on the sea floor. Its studies show oil is toxic to Gulf fish and shrimp and dispersant/oil mix is equally toxic. It did cite the use of dispersants as wise, despite not understanding their wider or long term impact.

5. Fisherman/shrimpers tell of finding oil on the bottom and showing it to BP/government workers. BP says the oil is gone.

6. Fisherman note that their catch are bottom feeders. When they fish clean areas, shrimp aren't there.

7. Independent FSU scientist says total pollutant load is 1.5 times the Oil Budget, when omitted methane gas is taken into account. He said all core samples from the sea floor near Panama City found oil, indicating widespread presence.

8. FDA says the public has the same level of safety as it was before the spill. (This is the same FDA recalling 380 million eggs for salmonella.)

For other interesting tidbits in the testimony, CSPAN has more.

No comments: