FDA Not Testing Gulf Seafood for Mercury, Arsenic or Other Heavy Metals Because "We Do Not Expect to See an Increase Based on this Spill"

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Congressman Markey's subcomittee held a hearing Thursday on seafood and the oil spill.

Markey got the Food and Drug Administration to admit that fish are not being tested from oiled areas:


YouTube Video

The FDA also admitted that it is not testing for mercury, arsenic or other toxic heavy metals, because - wait for it - the FDA doesn't expect to see an increase of these toxins from the oil spill:


YouTube Video

But in the real world:

Crude oil contains such powerful cancer-causing chemicals as benzene, toluene, heavy metals and arsenic.




As Bloomberg notes:


is a complex mixture containing substances like benzene, heavy metals,
arsenic, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons -- all known to cause
human health problems such as cancer, birth defects or miscarriages,”
said Kenneth Olden, founding dean of New York’s CUNY School of Public
Health at Hunter College, who is monitoring a panel on possible delayed


Benzene, toluene, arsenic, heavy metals and many other components of crude oil ... bioaccumulate.

The FDA's statement is similar to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco's recent assertion that oil doesn't bioaccumulate in fish, and that fish naturally "degrade and process" the oil.

As a former long-time NOAA scientist points out, NOAA hasn't exactly been neutral and objective with regards to Gulf oil spill science:

Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University ... sees this latest incident as part of an ongoing problem.


Lubchenco had previously been a key figure in the patently low-ball estimates for the oil flow, and fervently resisted acknowledging the existence of underwater oil plumes, he said.


worked with NOAA essentially all my career and I have many good friends
there, and people I respect in the agency, scientists who are really
solid," MacDonald said.


"Throughout this process, it's been
troubling to me to see the efforts of people like that passed through a
filter where the objective seems to be much more political and public
relations than making comments to inform the public.


consistent theme," MacDonald said, "seems to be to minimize the impact
of the oil -- and to act as a bottleneck for information."

Unfortunately, this is how government today operates ... its main activity is simply to try to cover up crises.

The FDA also admitted that it is not testing for the most toxic bioaccumulating metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Hat tip Florida Oil Spill Law.

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Sausagemaker's picture

Not to be too nit-picky or anything, but I would think that testing Gulf seafood would fall under the purview of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) or NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

There's a government agency for everything y'know:


"The Jefferson Parish Sheriff?s Office SWAT team continues their very successful nutria control program in Jefferson Parish."

Gordon_Gekko's picture

Well, in this case, I'm content to let natural selection take its course as the idiots who believe "all is well" in the Gulf will get what they deserve by eating the POISONOUS gulf seafood. Sayonara morons!

Gordon_Gekko's picture

Same here MsCreant. Been quite busy lately with some personal stuff. Lately I haven't even found much time to surf the web, much less my favorite hang-out place i.e. ZH.

Fishhawk's picture

Arsenic and mercury as found in crude oil are not water soluble, and will not spread through the environment at any great speed.  Bioaccumulation takes time, first for microorganisms to assimilate the toxins, be they organic or metals, then those are eaten by tiny fish or shrimp, (these) then eaten by larger fish, so for restaurant served fish, the impact will not appear for maybe 3 to 4 years.  For shrimp, which are primary grazers on plankton, the contamination will appear in 3 to 6 months.  As to the article implying that organics from crude oil bioaccumulate, only the polycyclics (chrysenes, perlenes, and anthracenes) bioaccumulate.  The light BTX components mentioned, (benzene, toluene) which are linked to cancer, are pretty rapidly metabolized by shrimp. 

OTOH, I would tend not to believe anything the FDA says, as they are completely owned by Big Pharma (must have rented them to Big Oil for this show).  And as previously pointed out, they have been ordered by the administration not to find any bad effects, so their obvious response is to not look for any.  Thus the coverup continues.

Payne's picture

Why don't you try eating raw oysters from the gulf for the next year to prove him wrong.

mynhair's picture

I want junks, you maroons!

2?  Lifeless lifeforms that you are.  You klowns that take GW posts like gospel, are morons!

If he weren't a bozo Canadian, I'd challenge him to a swimming match in the Gulf.

Can we get the One there at the same time?  Those bull sharks are hungry, for Libs or Canadians.

Cistercian's picture

What makes you think we take GW as gospel you heretic? You believe the gov/oligarchy is providing the truth?

  Enjoy the fascist dictatorship you are employed by....jackass.


DaveyJones's picture

Another hairball. Someone with so much faith should avoid gospel analogies

MsCreant's picture

I thought that we determined that killer whales were eating pussy yesterday.

Arkadaba's picture

Thanks again GW for keeping on top of this story. I really don't understand why some people are so violently opposed these posts on what is happening in the Gulf. The truth is out there and publicly accessible. You can build a timeline of BP's and the government's "incorrect assessments" and when they were refuted.

And, it appears that even though parts of the Gulf have been deemed safe for fishing, fisherman are being asked to sign a waiver that makes them responsible for any liability for contaminated seafood:


All I can say is WTF.



tony bonn's picture

can you imagine the arrogance and criminality of these sociopathic minds? what is even more disturbing are those who believe and defend this bullshit....

satan is alive and well.

the shameful obama is carrying oil for the rockefeller masters of the universe jedi assholes...

Fred Hayek's picture

Congratulations FDA.  You've done the nearly impossible in making one of our Massachusetts congresscritters seem more in touch with reality than you.  We recommend seppuku.

onlooker's picture

"it's so easy to understand what's going on when you think like the sociopaths running the show."---------------------------------------------

Oh My!!!  Does the phrase "Yes we can" ring a bell? So we got the worst man made disaster since the Russians had the nuke plant problem. Maybe the worst in the history of man. But, we do not know because the open policy that Obama, as a candidate,  promised the World is not there. He lied and continues to lie. BUT, what about the folks that are supposed to be in the other corner of the ring to fight the sons of bitches in power? Where are those other sons of bitches? Where is their scuba gear and cameras?

So boys and girls, not to be too down in the mouth, it seems that "we the people" are in a bind, a jam, cross ways, upside down, screwed, unemployed, robbed, lied to, and owe $44,000 each to God maybe knows who.

Where is the Rule of Law? Where is the Social Responsibility? Where is the Constitition? Where are the Good Guys? Oh, oh,  yes I forgot-------"it's so easy to understand what's going on when you think like the sociopaths running the show."--------- OK, now I feel better. 

mynhair's picture

Peak Oil, morons!

Interesting  double post, much more interesting than the GW premise of this thread.

MsCreant's picture

I junked you to make it an even 3/3 for both posts. I love your name and avatar BTW. My cat runs some of my life so I laugh a little every time you appear. Never-the-less you are a sitting duck and I feel sorry for you. Folks are alarmist because something is very wrong and everyone is hiding shit instead of openly showing their books. That leaves room for filling in the gaps of the story with the very worst. If they want it to be different, they need to stop obfuscating and start clarifying. That ain't gonna happen and we both know it. You can mock folks if you like, that is fun and a way to feel superior, but it does not get at the heart of the problem...they are not acting in a trustworthy manner.

mynhair's picture

Peak Oil, morons!

Guess that only applies to leaks.

merehuman's picture

Thank you GW. Utube was all over this until 2 weeks ago. Now its a dead issue and when going to the BP site to view cams they are blacked out mostly and my computer crashes each time o leave that site. It didnt used to do that. I think its on purpose.

Lastly each and every day methane hydrate could be seen  and each day a vulcanic type eruption was ongoing. The seabed is not only still leaking but getting worse. I truly hope i am wrong but it explains why they are still dispersing underwater with the hanging tub.

There is a danger in not knowing the truth in this particular crisis.

Someone should have an impartial look under the sea. Preferably someone loyal to our country rather than the money

zhandax's picture

Preferably someone loyal to our country rather than the money

You could probably get agreement on Ron Paul.  If he is busy, who is next?

drB's picture

I know people like to panic BUT....

you are more likely to get a lot more benzene and toluene by walking around city...due to car exhaust. You will get higher concentration of benzene in soft drinks (from benzoic acid decarboxylation) than in Gulf seafood. There will be much more mercury in any fish from inland waters than from Gulf (mercury is emitted from burning coal). 

Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence - or in case of government workers, by laziness.

traderjake's picture

The FDA is too busy raiding vitamin stores to test the safety of the food supply.  

tempo's picture

During the Friday briefing, Tadd Allen was asked, "what is your take on the large plume being reported in the media.   Mr. Allen said the plume was identified in June but all efforts by NOAA could not confirm the plume at this time.   Also I believe Mr Allen reported the well is holding 2198 psi pressure and there are no issues with well integity (perhaps GW could confirm). However on Aug. 19, Mr. Allen reported only 5000 ft of cement was confirmed and that the formation has collasped blocking the bottom 3000 feet.   That doesn't seem normal or safe.   Mr. Allen then did a quick accounting of the 4.5mmbbls of oil released by the well adding .8 mmbbls were captured and the Govt is keeping tract of the other amounts skimmed/burned or dispersered using corexit on the oil which makes oil  biodegradable per Mr Allen.  Its all evaporated!!  Apparently 2 mm bbls of corexit used by BP to disperse (hid) the spill is not a concern to Mr. Allen.   Mr. Allen was also asked if corexit is still being used as reported by some fishermen.  Mr. Allen say that BP last used corexit on July 19th and has not been used since then.   He seemed very confident and in control of the situation.  So everyone should have a nice summer vacation and start eating GoM seafood.  Its over, move on. 

taraxias's picture

Oh yeah, it's over, Mr Integrity......eeeer, I meant Mr Allen said so.....

No really it's over, over, over over.....Mr Allen said so


Mitchman's picture

Mr. Allen appears to me to be a man of his most recent word.

williambanzai7's picture

What do we pay these clowns to do? ANSWER: watch porn and appear at hearings on CSPAN

In all fairness, they are to busy figuring how billions of tainted eggs got into circulation without being tested. And getting vitamins reclassified as prescription drugs.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You can pry that vitamin C from my cold dead hand.

zhandax's picture

Agreed in principle, but if push comes to shove, concentrated lime juice is cheap.  Healthful home-made margaritas!

Itsalie's picture

So is the good US of A becoming more like China or is it the other way round?

But no worries, Mr O and his team will soon enough come out with a plan to export the arsenic-tainted seafood to China where growth hormone-fed cows' milk are also not tested before being sold at major chains like Carrefour across the country. Denninger and many here would support Mr O.


Mitchman's picture

It would all be part of Mr. O's strategy to double exports in 5 years.  :-)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

FDA Not Testing Gulf Seafood for Mercury, Arsenic or Other Heavy Metals Because "We Do Not Expect to See an Increase Based on this Spill"

Now this little gem is straight out of the "I didn't see the truck because I wasn't expecting a truck to be there, thus no one could have seen the truck coming" playbook. Now where did I see this before? Oh yeah, now I remember.

We didn't test for explosive residue in the World Trade Center debris because no explosives were in, or expected to be in, the debris. Since no explosives were in the debris, or expected to be in the debris, it would have been a waste of taxpayers money to look for something that wasn't there.

I just love circular logic. You always get exactly where you expect to be, thus saving yourself the expense and inconvenience of the journey to begin with.

Hang The Fed's picture

As a "good citizen," I do solemnly swear that I will hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil.  I will believe that my government is here for my benefit and protection, and that they would never betray my trust.  I will spend, even if I don't really have the money, for the greater good of the economy, as we shall all prosper if I buy a plasma t.v., even though I don't really like t.v.  Come to think of it, there are a number of things that don't sound or look very right, either, and I'd like to say something about it, but I'll defer, since I know that I'm one of god's special creations and nothing catastrophic could ever possibly come my way, through chance or machination.  Even if it did, then it's his will, and I will know happiness in the next life, even if this one sucks a donkey's dick.

It's amazing just how big the circle of that sort of logic really gets to be...

MsCreant's picture

Class war. They were always at war with us. We are just waking up to that fact and just starting to consider what to do about it. We gotta get into their OODA Loop, stop being reactive on their stage and instead act.

Hang The Fed's picture

I'm becoming a big fan of simply not participating in what I perceive to be complete and utter bullshit.  Voting is a useless waste of time, petitioning ANYONE in govt. is even more useless, and my asshole hurts every time I use an ATM.  At this point, only the total implosion of our retrograde systems of social interaction will ever open the door to anything better...and even THAT'S a long shot, sometimes, given the patterns of human history.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Well said MsCreant, well said.

We either create our own reality or we're controlled by theirs.

RichardP's picture

Even when you create your own reality, you are still controlled by theirs.

breezer1's picture

an international criminal cartel has seized control of the most powerful military machine the world has ever known. doesn't mean shit if all our/their food is poisoned.  

thanks GW.

Real Estate Geek's picture

I agree with your first paragraph. 

But I junked you because you blame GW.  (He's not the President anymore, and both parties are the problem.)

RockyRacoon's picture

Somebody should find out who that masked junker is.  You know, like "30 babies are born every minute -- somebody should find that woman and stop her!"

knukles's picture

Lesson of the Day: Regulatory Capture
Nobody need go to Infowars to figure this out.

truont's picture

The FDA also admitted that it is not testing for mercury, arsenic or other toxic heavy metals, because - wait for it - the FDA doesn't expect to see an increase of these toxins from the oil spill.

The FDA isn't concerned about the safety of our food.

They are concerned about keeping their jobs and doing as they are told.

Who the hell do you think pays your salary, FDA apparatchiks?


DosZap's picture


"Who the hell do you think pays your salary, FDA apparatchiks?


Tru, WE also pay for the entire Federal Gv't,in all my years at the gristmill working for others, THEY paid me for my services, but I did not EVER get to tell them WHAT to do.

In no other instance I can think of, does the employee, tell the Employer WHAT to do.

Not testing, huh?...why not, easy..they already know what they will find.

This falls under the category of the oil is all gone, and evaporated...........all 250 million barrels..........

Back to the CONfidence game....................


mynhair's picture

We are all gonna die!

The moron has posted thusly!

Can we please have another Leo post?  At least Leo makes some sense.

mynhair's picture

Any moron fishing in the Gulf knows better than to keep big fish, it's a neuro-toxin thing.

Except for you.  Must be a Canadian.

It's been around longer than you've been alive.

Arkadaba's picture

Actually, most Canadians know that you throw back the big fish because they are the best breeders.

longontents's picture

Don't get all tetrodotoxin on us Canadians.

longontents's picture

War is peace, freedom is tyranny, oil spills are seasoning.

mynhair's picture

Go to Infowars where you belong.


Mitchman's picture


You are usually one of the best posters on ZH.  I don't understand your emnity for this post.  One would think that even as a baseline precautionary measure the FDA would do some checking.