Monthly Archives: December 2010

MSNBC.com Confirms Findings that Dispersant Use Continued Well After “Official” End Date

MSNBC.com Confirms Findings that Dispersant Use Continued Well After “Official” End Date
December 28, 2010 7:13 am http://oilspillaction.com/msnbc-com-confirms-findings-that-dispersant-use-continued-well-after-official-end-date  by Stuart H. Smith, an attorney based in New Orleans

Congratulations are in order for a couple of my colleagues – environmental researcher Marco Kaltofen and photographer Jerry Moran – for again breaking through the “Mission Accomplished” information barrier to have their findings on dispersant use covered by the mainstream media.

MSNBC.com – on its investigative blog “Open Channel” – is covering and confirming the findings of Kaltofen and Moran that dispersant use has continued well beyond the “official” end date. The piece, by senior reporter Kari Huus, is entitled, “Is dispersant still being sprayed in the gulf?”

The importance of that question goes directly to the issue of seafood safety, among others. In a recent article from AOL Daily Finance, Peter Hodson, an aquatic toxicologist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, explains: While dispersants don’t increase the toxicity of petroleum, they can vastly increase the chances that a fish will interact with oil, and that the oil’s toxicity will affect sea life.

The MSNBC website, of course, cites the official line that dispersant use ended July 15, then adds “…but photos and chemical lab results obtained by MSNBC.com suggest that the controversial chemicals have been sprayed much more recently than that.”

MSNBC adds: “We were on our way back to Ocean Springs from Horn Island, about a mile or two off the coast… (and) we ran into these hundreds of yards long swaths of that cauliflower stuff,” said Moran. And this: Moran said the foamy substance on the water’s surface looked just like what he encountered while covering the oil spill response when dispersant — a product with the brand name Corexit — was being applied daily to oil slicks. The smell was unmistakable, he said. “I almost passed out from the fumes,” he said. “It smelled like a gas station.” Read entire article here

Government Food Take Over Not for Safety, Loosens Seafood Standards Again!

Food Safety Bill Aside, BP Tainted Gulf Seafood Not Troubling to Government
That’s my take on the 75 to 25 vote by the Senate to go against the barrage of citizen protest against their S. 510 Food Safety Bill because how can they with any creditability pretend to care about what we eat when they keep on trying to get people to eat the BP oil and Corexit tainted seafood out of the polluted Gulf of Mexico?

Read these two food related articles and see examples of foods being used for anything other than nutrition and health.

 http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/12/armed_services_are_urged_to_st.html Armed services are urged to stock kitchens (Military, Prison, and School) with Gulf seafood  
 December 07, 2010,  Jonathan Tilove 
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who doubles as President Barack Obama’s point man on Gulf Coast oil spill recovery, is pressing America’s armed services to consume as much Gulf seafood as possible.  Navy Capt. Beci Brenton said Monday that Mabus has talked with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the secretaries of the Air Force and Army, and his staff has talked to the Defense Commissary Agency, which operates a worldwide chain of stores for military personnel, making the point “that we should be buying Gulf Coast seafood.”
In a meeting Monday with Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Mabus reaffirmed his commitment to using the tools at his disposal to help the Gulf seafood industry recover from the damage the BP oil spill has done in reality and perception. The board is gearing up for a large-scale national marketing campaign, with $30 million in BP money and millions more in federal dollars, to reassure restaurants and markets across the country that Gulf seafood is safe.
“He expressed what we wanted to hear: He is in favor of the federal government buying seafood from the Gulf,” said Smith, who said he would like to see Gulf seafood as the choice throughout the public domain, “whether it’s the military or prison systems or school systems.”
Smith met with Mabus as a representative of the Gulf Coast Ready 4 Takeoff Coalition, an alliance of businesses and government entities from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida working for economic recovery in the Gulf. Smith was joined at the meeting by Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile, Ala., and Mayor-elect Ashton Hayward of Pensacola, Fla…………….Read the rest here http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/12/armed_services_are_urged_to_st.html_________________

And then this article;
FDA not considering Gulf seafood consumption in safety estimates, says coaltion Friday, December 10, 2010, 5:30 AM,  Ben Raines  http://blog.al.com/live/2010/12/fda_not_considering_gulf_seafo.html

 A coalition of environmental groups accuses the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of failing to accurately estimate how much seafood coastal residents eat when setting safe levels for oil-related contaminants in fish, shrimp and crabs.
Those groups, headed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that the standards used to reopen the Gulf of Mexico to commercial and recreational fishing leave people who eat a lot of seafood potentially vulnerable to cancer-causing substances.
FDA officials said none of the Gulf states were able to provide seafood consumption estimates for coastal residents, forcing the agency to rely on national statistics.
Dr. Gina Solomon — a University of California toxicologist, member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s science advisory board and senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council — acknowledged that none of the seafood tested by the FDA appears to have dangerous levels of oil contaminants.
That was fortunate, she said, given the agency’s approach to setting the safe levels, which have been blamed for undermining public confidence in seafood.
The Press-Register previously reported that the FDA standards set after the BP spill allow higher levels of oil contaminants to be present in seafood than has been allowed after other major spills.
The newspaper also reported that based on an FDA assumption that people eat four times more fish than other types of seafood, the agency standards allow shrimp, crabs and oysters destined for public consumption to be four times more contaminated than fish.
Solomon said the NRDC conducted a non-random survey of 547 coastal residents and found that people in the survey ate from three to 12 times more shrimp each week than the FDA estimated.
“We found that FDA assumptions for consumption frequency and meal size significantly underestimate exposure levels for the majority of the Gulf respondents to our survey. These people would not be protected by the FDA guidelines on Gulf seafood contamination,” reads a letter Solomon and the NRDC sent to the FDA. Mobile Baykeeper also signed that letter.
“Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in seafood that would fall within the FDA guidelines as acceptable would, in fact, expose these people to levels of cancer-causing chemicals more than 10-fold higher.”
In a statement e-mailed to the Press-Register, the FDA addressed the NRDC survey and wrote that the “FDA is not aware of any published data upon which we can rely for seafood consumption figures other than what we used.”
“The Natural Resources Defense Council has now provided FDA with information from a Gulf Coast seafood consumption survey it recently completed. FDA will review the NRDC’s survey to determine if it is suitable as a source of consumption data and, if so, whether it would impact any of the safety conclusions drawn by the states and the federal government,” the statement said.
Solomon said the FDA assumed that people who ate the most shrimp ate what amounted to about four jumbo shrimp per week.
“Our survey certainly shows there is a significant population of people on the Gulf Coast who eat a heck of a lot more seafood than the FDA believes,” Solomon said.
“Based on the actual contaminant levels in seafood, I don’t see a reason for people to change their diet, but I do see a reason for FDA to change their approach to how they conduct risk assessments. I don’t want them to be leaving out this group of Gulf Coast residents who eat a lot of seafood. They are the most vulnerable.”
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So much for caring for our food safety, these things prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to me that S. 510 has nothing to do with health and everything to do with control.