The Government Lies to the American People About the Safety of Gulf Seafood → Washingtons Blog
The Government Lies to the American People About the Safety of Gulf Seafood - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Government Lies to the American People About the Safety of Gulf Seafood

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) just announced:

For the seafood to pose a health risk, the food would have to be heavily contaminated with oil, and would therefore have a strong odor and taste of oil.

That is patently untrue.

As I pointed out in June:

Crude oil contains such powerful cancer-causing chemicals as benzene, toluene, heavy metals and arsenic.


As Bloomberg notes:

“Oil is a complex mixture containing substances like benzene, heavy metals, arsenic, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons -- all known to cause human health problems such as cancer, birth defects or miscarriages,” said Kenneth Olden, founding dean of New York’s CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, who is monitoring a panel on possible delayed effects.

Corexit breaks oil down into its constituent chemicals. So there could easily be toxic levels in the compounds that don't smell anything like oil.

For example, arsenic is odorless. So fish contaminated with arsenic will not smell or taste like oil.

And crude oil contains mercury. Mercury is odorless, so fish contaminated with mercury will not smell or taste like oil.

As McClatchy notes today:

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill still poses threats to human health and seafood safety, according to a study published Monday by the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association.


In the short term, study co-author Gina Solomon voiced greatest concern for shrimp, oysters, crabs and other invertebrates she says are have difficulty clearing their systems of dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) similar to those found in cigarette smoke and soot. Solomon is an MD and public health expert in the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

In the longer term, she expressed worries about big fin fish such as tuna, swordfish and mackerel, saying levels of mercury from the oil might slowly increase over time by being consumed by fish lower in the food chain and becoming concentrating in the larger fish.

As time goes on, she said, doctors may be warning pregnant women and children to strictly limit the amount of such fish they eat. Some of the fish had relatively high levels of mercury even before the oil spill, she said.

Moreover, Corexit is itself toxic. Many of the ingredients of Corexit are either odorless and tasteless or have very different smells and tastes from oil. For example, Corexit contains propylene glycol, which is nearly odorless, with a faintly sweet taste. And some versions of Corexit contain 2-butoxyethanol which has a fruity rather than petroleum-like smell.

Finally, Corexit interacts with crude oil to form new compounds. No one has thoroughly studied the range of new compounds which might be formed by the interaction of Corexit with crude oil, let alone what they taste or smell like.

And see this.

In addition, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says that oil doesn't bioaccumulate in fish, and that fish naturally "degrade and process" the oil:

However, as the above-quoted article by the Journal of the American Medical Association states:
Shrimp, oysters, crabs and other invertebrates ... have difficulty clearing their systems of dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ....
Accumulation of PAHs occurs in all marine organisms.
Benzene, toluene, arsenic, heavy metals and many other components of crude oil also bioaccumulate. Indeed, researcher Bob Kibler recently found benzene levels 1,000 times higher than allowed in the mud of Louisiana's Four Bayou Pass, which will bioaccumulate in the oysters, shrimp and other marine organisms (starting around 2:30 into video):

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In addition, NOAA admitted in Congressional testimony that dispersants may bioaccumulate.

Finally, Lubchenco says that we can be assured that Gulf seafood is safe because only fishing areas which are free of oil are being reopened.

That is also false.


  1. The food is not safe and the locals are in danger of developing cancer and other diseases but...the US Government weights diplomacy in bigger account than the lives of the locals.

  2. The BP/Government coalition has consistently downplayed this disaster since day one. Is it any wonder that the government now claims that most of the crude has somehow 'evaporated' and that the seafood is uncontaminated?

  3. the government and americas presidnt are at fault for many tings that has happened in the past there is no doubt that there people are destroying the american people. wat is wrong with the american people how can u trust someone to run the country when u know nothing about the peope u are voting for all u know is what they say to convince uto vote for the. and presidents have failed at telling the truth, protecting and helping the aerican people. americans have forgot that the president woksfor us we dont work fo them we pay the president to work for us and they are not doing theirjob weare inwer notthem... its all about the money the governent andthe health inustry have been poisoning us with food foryear they mae billionsof $$per year just for getting sick ad they work together. if tey told us the truth that there is a plant in the amazon that an cure u from any cancer forever and its true they would run out of buisness...yu wouldbe suprised to know the tingsthey do to poison us to get sick... think about tsall about the $$$

  4. This is truly a great read for me!! I love the quality information and news your blog provides. I have you bookmarked to show this to my brother!


  5. The truth will set you free and we all know what the truth is don't we? Please wake up Americans and look and see what is going on around us. Lies and more deceit from those who are suppose to protect us. Believe what you want, but the truth is in the water.



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