Friday, April 20, 2012

The Pot and the Kettle

Jeffery pointed out this article I missed in the TP:

2 years after Gulf oil spill, Louisiana seafood still battling negative perception

...and in particular, this gem:

On Thursday, a National Enquirer-esque story was featured on the local online publication, Eater Nola, which mostly writes about local restaurants and food trends. The story told of "borderline Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-esque mutations" found in Gulf species and then linked to an Al-Jazeera news story that discussed Louisiana shrimp and crab catch as dramatically down as a result of these "mutated shrimp, crab and fish."
A video above that Al-Jazeera article interspliced random footage of people eating while it discussed these alleged declines in species. Last month, one headline within a similar Al-Jazeera story exclaimed in bold letters, "The shrimp are all dead."
A simple call to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to ask for shrimp catch numbers would have told the publication otherwise.
Perhaps this is correct in regards to the shrimp catch, but it's interesting that oyster spats were omitted from the story. 
Despite federal, state and local scientists stating again and again that Gulf of Mexico seafood is safe to eat, the majority of people across the nation still have concerns, with about 30 percent saying they won't eat it at all. 
How the seafood is tested, not if, is what we "conspiracy theorists" have been calling into question from the beginning. Many of those local scientists are on BP's payroll or the institutions they work for are on BP's payroll.  That's not conspiracy it's fact. 

This whole article assumes that anyone who doesn't believe seafood from the Gulf is safe is a "conspiracy theorist"  The reporter even went so far as to contact this dude...and I'm sure he is on some local entity's payroll as well:
Peter Sandman, a national risk communication consultant and former Rutgers University human ecology professor, suggests that perhaps persisting negative perceptions about Gulf seafood have little to do with risk and more to do with outrage.  
Ok, so listen to these scientists and tell me if they sound outraged...a simple call to a scientist not on BP's payroll in some form or fashion may have told the reporter a different story:

Happy anniversary.



jeffrey said...

Also Alex Woodward has a good post up at the Gambit blog that touches on some of the problems with the testing mechanisms.

A statement to Al Jazeera from Gov. Bobby Jindal's office reads, "Gulf seafood has consistently tested lower than the safety thresholds established by the FDA for the levels of oil and dispersant contamination that would pose a risk to human health. ... Louisiana seafood continues to go through extensive testing to ensure that seafood is safe for human consumption. More than 3,000 composite samples of seafood, sediment and water have been tested in Louisiana since the start of the spill."

Except those thresholds are far lower than the amounts consumed in Louisiana. The FDA guidelines represent a national average, not a regional one.

In October 2010, the FDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the results of their seafood tests, finding only a fraction of their samples to be contaminated above average levels. Those levels, however, were adopted in June 2010 in the weeks after the disaster. Scientists argued those federal tests were not sufficient, or accurate.

The risks were downplayed — the National Resource Defense Council confirmed that last year, and university-led research continues to point to impacts in the Gulf-wide food chain.

Jason Brad Berry said...

"Gulf seafood has consistently tested lower than the safety thresholds established by the FDA for the levels of oil and dispersant contamination that would pose a risk to human health."

eehhhhhnnnnttt........not true. They aren't testing for dispersant contamination.

Also watch the second video...he echoes Woodward's story.

Nancy said...

And yes, the FDA has joined the chorus: