"Gulf Seafood Is Safe, Officials Say"

"Extensive testing of Gulf of Mexico seafood by federal scientists has found only minute traces of the dispersant Corexit, which was used to break up oil from the BP spill, officials say. About 1.8 million gallons of dispersant were applied to the waters' surface and at the wellhead, nearly a mile undersea.

Of 1,735 tissue samples analyzed, only 13 showed trace amounts of dispersant residue, in concentrations well below safety thresholds established by federal agencies. Other recent tests from federal waters reopened to commercial fishing have shown little or no detectable oil, and no samples that exceed federal safety guidelines.

"The overwhelming majority of the seafood tested shows no detectable residue, and not one of the samples shows a residue level that would be harmful for humans," Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said on Friday. "There is no question gulf seafood coming to market is safe from oil or dispersant residue."

Roughly 96 percent of federal waters in the gulf are now open to commercial and recreational fishing. At the height of the spill, 37 percent of federal waters, an area of nearly 90,000 square miles, was closed to fishing."

John Collins Rudolf reports for the New York Times November 1, 2010.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010