Tell the FDA to Come Clean About Gulf Seafood

  • By: Care2.com
  • Target: U.S. FDA Comissioner Margaret Hamburg
Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has tried to contact FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg multiple times regarding the current safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.

The safety of the Gulf's seafood is in question because of the prolonged use of chemical dispersants on oil flowing out of the Deepwater Horizon oil well.

A study from Imperial College in London earlier this month revealed that oil spills can block the ocean's natural ability to filter arsenic out of seawater. As these levels rise, the poison can enter the marine ecosystem and become more concentrated as it moves up the food chain. And samples of crab larvae from the area tested positive for hydrocarbons.

Consumers deserve to know the safety of the food they eat and what the FDA is doing to regulate the safety of seafood from the Gulf. Tell FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to come clean about food safety regarding contamination in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dear Commissioner Hamburg,

Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has tried to the U.S. FDA multiple times regarding the current safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.

The safety of the Gulf's seafood is in question because of the prolonged use of chemical dispersants on oil flowing out of the Deepwater Horizon oil well.

[Your personalized comments will be inserted here.]

A study from Imperial College in London earlier this month revealed that oil spills can block the ocean's natural ability to filter arsenic out of seawater. As these levels rise, the poison can enter the marine ecosystem and become more concentrated as it moves up the food chain. And samples of crab larvae from the area tested positive for hydrocarbons.

Consumers deserve to know the safety of the food they eat and what the FDA is doing to regulate the safety of seafood from the Gulf. Please promptly release a public statement answering Representative Markey's questions about food safety regarding contamination in the Gulf of Mexico, repeated below:


1. What is FDA doing to assess whether the ingestion of contaminated species by other more mobile fish is not resulting in the contamination of marine seafood caught outside the areas closed to fishing?

2. While FDA's webpage states that "FDA and NOAA have agreed on a protocol to determine when closed federal harvest waters can be re-opened." The protocol relies heavily on the ability to pass a sensory and chemical analysis to identify oil and its residues. Does this protocol also identify when seafood is contaminated with arsenic?

3. How does FDA plan on monitoring the long-term effect that oil, other hydrocarbons, and other toxic compounds such as arsenic have on aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico and any potential effect that consumption of seafood from the Gulf has on human health?

4. Will FDA continue to conduct long-term monitoring for arsenic to ensure that the chemical does not bioaccumulate in the food chain for months or years after the leak has stopped and the oil is visibly removed?

5. What federal standards are in place for how much arsenic can be present in seafood consumed by humans?
Sign Petition

privacy policy

By signing, you accept Care2's terms of service.

Having problems signing this? Let us know.