Read This Before Eating Seafood?


The headline from the Press-Register in Alabama looked like good news: “Marine scientist: Gulf fish absolutely safe to eat now.” There are a bunch of reasons to call “bull” on that storyline, including the article’s lead: “Hungry for seafood? The local fish and shrimp are fine, but it’s best to pass on any locally harvested crabs and oysters for now, says one of the best-known marine scientists on the Alabama coast.” What does that mean?

Might we suggest a new headline: “Avoid oysters, crabs immediately, roll toxic dice with other seafood.”

The scientist in question, George Crozier of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, makes the argument that larger marine species are likely safe to eat if we hurry before toxins bio-accumulate up the food chain. There will be real trouble, he figures, in a year or so. Frankly, that’s not exactly comforting even if he’s right and others (many others) certainly disagree.

For example: For dispersants, which are being found all over the Gulf right now, there aren’t even tests available to determine the adverse effects – the EPA says it’s working on that. Okay, they’re working on it, but don’t you think somebody would have had the idea before now. Shouldn’t we already have a test in place, now that Corexit is washing up on beaches. Nothing like being prepared.

You can read reporter Casandra Andrews story here (and we’ll note that the reporters very seldom write the headlines):

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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