The April, 2010 BP oil spill still causes damage to the area's wildlife, and the crap it causes goes right back to our plates... as usual.
|Fish rotting alive|
Among the disturbing mutations: Shrimp with tumors on their heads; fish that lack eyes or are missing flaps over their gills; fish with oozing sores; crabs with holes in their shells; crabs that are missing claws and spikes, or are encased in soft shells instead of hard ones.It's not just the oil spill itself, but also the oil dispersants used to clean up the mess... sure, to the naked eye, it looks like the oil ''left the water'', but that's just because dangerous chemicals just separated their chemical components.
Keath Ladner, a third generation seafood processor in Hancock County, Mississippi, is also disturbed by what he is seeing. "I've seen the brown shrimp catch drop by two-thirds, and so far the white shrimp have been wiped out," Ladner told Al Jazeera. "The shrimp are immune compromised. We are finding shrimp with tumors on their heads, and are seeing this everyday."
Pathways of exposure to the dispersants are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact. Health impacts can include headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, chest pains, respiratory system damage, skin sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. They are also teratogenic - able to disturb the growth and development of an embryo or fetus - and carcinogenic.And, of course, both BP and local authorities are hiding behind government regulations (or lack thereof):
"Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is among the most tested in the world," the energy company says in a statement. And "according to the FDA and NOAA, it is as safe now as it was before the accident."
Al Jazeera contacted the office of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who provided a statement that said the state continues to test its waters for oil and dispersants, and that it is testing for PAHs. "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," the statement reads.Well, then, let me ask this: is it, maybe, that the FDA's requirements are too low? Why satisfy yourself with the lowest possible standard when you know for a fact they aren't adequate? This could be the one chance we have to get FDA standards up to par, but instead, we'd rather let our people eat poison for a few more years or generations. It's no wonder the U.S. accepts radioactive food from Japan, seeing as the FDA accepts between 4 and 10 times the radiation levels the Japanese authorities do.