The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced how much shrimp the average consumer would have to eat before reaching the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “levels of concern” for oil contamination. That is a lot more than some special interest groups would have the public believe.
“Restoring public perception of Louisiana seafood is crucial for our seafood industry,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We have tested more than 1,000 seafood samples since the start of the oil spill response and what we’ve discovered is that seafood is still safe.
“Scientists tell us that oil does not bioaccumulate in seafood and every test we’ve conducted confirms that seafood is safe. It is important to remember that scientists at the state level work for the public. We have their best interest in mind. I eat Louisiana seafood and will continue to do so. It is safe, it is healthy, and it is delicious.”
State officials with LDWF and the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) examined the levels of contaminates associated with the BP oil spill, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), being found in Louisiana seafood that have been collected throughout the spill. And they determined that the levels were so low that they do not pose a risk to consumers.
According to the FDA, the average consumer could consume extreme amounts of seafood each day for up to five years without exceeding the health risks for contamination:
- 63 pounds of peeled Louisiana shrimp, or 1,575 jumbo shrimp,
- 5 pounds of Louisiana oyster meat, or 130 individual oysters, or
- 9 pounds of Louisiana fish, or 18 8-ounce fish filets.
Since May 9, 2010, the LDWF and the DHH has tested more than 1,000 individual seafood samples for contamination associated with the BP oil spill. Seafood samples often include more than one specimen. For example, one shrimp sample may include as many as 100 individual shrimp that are then ground into a composite paste and sampled. This composite sampling method provides a more complete picture of the health of seafood off Louisiana’s coast.