FDA: Don't Worry About Chemical Dispersants and Gulf Seafood

Now that BP's oil well is plugged, government scientists can start looking at what 1.8 million gallons of the chemical dispersant Corexit did to the environment, and seafood in the Gulf of Mexico. The FDA says don't sweat it!

Earlier this week in a letter to Rep. Ed Markey, the Food and Drug Administration said that Corexit, which was used to disperse the oil in the Gulf, would not have a toxic effect on seafood. The EPA says the oil itself is worse on seafood than Corexit, which isn't exactly comforting news. In the early days of the oil spill ProPublica looked into Corexit's use, which is banned in the United Kingdom:

Corexit was also used after the Exxon Valdez disaster and was later linked with human health problems including respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders. One of the two Corexit products also contains a compound that, in high doses, is associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems.

Only after being harassed by the government, the producer of Corexit, Nalco Holding, disclosed the ingredients of its magical oil spill fixer. According to The Washington Post, Corexit contains "a proprietary form of sulfonic acid salt, which is 'moderately' toxic to freshwater fish and invertebrates but which the manufacturer says degrades quickly." Just about everything is fine in moderation, right? But seriously, don't worry about it! The FDA says even direct contact through the gills of fish won't have any sort of negative effect on them. And the Post has this little nugget: "The FDA is not monitoring fish and shellfish for the presence of Corexit in seafood because it is not considered a health risk."

So there you have it, doubters of government ordered scientific testing. And we all know that the FDA gets it right all the time. Bon appétit!

[Image via Getty]