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Scientist Says NOAA Needs to Expand Seafood Testing in the Gulf

Stories from the Gulf


Photo: Brett Duke, The Times-Picayune Archive

A senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council is urging federal officials to conduct more rigorous testing of shrimp and seafood from the Gulf of Mexico following this summer’s disastrous oil spill.

Scientist Gina Solomon says not enough shrimp has been tested.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened more than 5,000 square miles of Gulf waters to shrimping and fishing on September 2, proclaiming the shrimp and seafood to be safe.

But Solomon says that the data indicates that NOAA only used data from 12 samples of shrimp, consisting of 73 individual shrimp for its evaluation. That’s just too small, she said, for an area the size of Connecticut.

But Jane Lubchenco, NOAA’s administrator, pointed out that the testing of shrimp is ongoing, and will ensure that the shrimp from the Gulf is indeed safe. “The Gulf seafood taken from these waters is safe to eat,’ Lubchenco said. And the reopening of Gulf fishing waters ‘is another signal to tourists the northern Gulf is open for business,” she said.

The Food Channel is bringing you recaps of some of the best stories from around the Web that will help us all learn more about the true situation in the Gulf. Stay with us as the story unfolds and let’s see what the future of food may look like in the wake of crisis.