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The Government Lies to the American People About the Safety of Gulf Seafood

George Washington's picture




 

Washington’s
Blog

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) just announced:

For
the seafood to pose a health risk, the food would have to be heavily
contaminated with oil, and would therefore have a strong odor and taste
of oil.

That is patently untrue.

As I pointed out in June:

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

 

***

 

As Bloomberg notes:

 

“Oil
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 effects.

Corexit
breaks down oil into constituent chemicals. So there could easily be
toxic levels in the Gulf of compounds that don't smell anything like oil.

For example, arsenic is odorless. So fish contaminated with arsenic will not smell or taste like oil.

And crude oil contains mercury. Mercury is odorless, so fish contaminated with mercury will not smell or taste like oil.

As McClatchy notes today:

The
Gulf of Mexico oil spill still poses threats to human health and
seafood safety, according to a study published Monday by the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association.

***

In
the short term, study co-author Gina Solomon voiced greatest concern
for shrimp, oysters, crabs and other invertebrates she says are have
difficulty clearing their systems of dangerous polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) similar to those found in cigarette smoke and soot.
Solomon is an MD and public health expert in the department of medicine
at the University of California at San Francisco.

 

In the longer term, she expressed worries about big fin fish such as tuna, swordfish and mackerel, saying levels of mercury from
the oil might slowly increase over time by being consumed by fish
lower in the food chain and becoming concentrating in the larger fish.

 

As
time goes on, she said, doctors may be warning pregnant women and
children to strictly limit the amount of such fish they eat. Some of
the fish had relatively high levels of mercury even before the oil
spill, she said.

Moreover, Corexit is itself toxic.
Many of the ingredients of Corexit are either odorless and tasteless
or have very different smells and tastes from oil. For example, Corexit
contains propylene glycol, which is nearly odorless, with a faintly sweet taste. And some versions of Corexit contain 2-butoxyethanol which has a fruity rather than petroleum-like smell.

Finally, Corexit interacts with crude oil to form new compounds.
No one has thoroughly studied the range of new compounds which might
be formed by the interaction of Corexit with crude oil, let alone what
they taste or smell like.

And see this.

In addition, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says that oil doesn't bioaccumulate in fish, and that fish naturally "degrade and process" the oil:

However, as the above-quoted article by the Journal of the American Medical Association states:

Shrimp,
oysters, crabs and other invertebrates ... have difficulty clearing
their systems of dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ....

Moreover:

Accumulation of PAHs occurs in all marine organisms.

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

In addition, NOAA admitted in Congressional testimony that dispersants may bioaccumulate.

Finally,
Lubchenco says that we can be assured that Gulf seafood is safe because
only fishing areas which are free of oil are being reopened.

That is also false.

 

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Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:49 | 528718 Marla And Me
Marla And Me's picture

This is ludicrous.  The propaganda machine is out in full force.  Just take a look at the following photo essay's title:

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/now_that_the_oil_well_is_cappe.html

"Now that the oil well is capped..."

What a bunch of baloney.  Just take a look at photo #16.  Do they really think we're that stupid.  It's become a case of "if it's not on TV, then it can't be real"...

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 11:23 | 528159 covert
covert's picture

is this covered by health insurance? could it be possible to sue various federal governments and companies through neutral countries?

http://covert2.wordpress.com

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 05:18 | 527733 M4570D0N
M4570D0N's picture

Moreover, Corexit is itself toxic.

According to the EPA, not really, and additionally, the corexit-oil mixture is no more toxic than the oil itself.

And some versions of Corexit contain 2-butoxyethanol which has a fruity rather than petroleum-like smell.

Well then I guess it's a good thing that 2-butoxyethanol is not a component of Corexit 9500 and there is no reason to assume 2-butoxyethanol from disperants would currently show up in anything.

 

It's this type of garbage, the second quote specifically, that really degrades what credibility you have left. You should know this already, and I'm pretty sure you do. That's the problem. You know better, but you say it anyways even though you know it is completely irrelevant. You do it for one purpose and one purpose only, Fear mongering. There's really no other possible reason to mention 2-butoxyethanol in this post if you were already aware that it is not in Corexit 9500.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:46 | 528549 George Washington
George Washington's picture
Senior EPA Analyst: "Government [Agencies] Have Been Sock Puppets for BP In This Cover Up"

In addition, it is well-known that the EPA buried the concerns of its own toxicologists about the application of Corexit. As the Guardian points out:

The Obama administration is facing internal dissent from its scientists for approving the use of huge quantities of chemical dispersants to tackle the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Guardian has learned.

***

Jeff Ruch, the executive director of the whistleblower support group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said he had heard from five [EPA] scientists and two other officials who had expressed concerns to their superiors about the use of dispersants.

"There was one toxicologist who was very concerned about the underwater application particularly," he said. "The concern was the agency appeared to be flying blind and not consulting its own specialists and even the literature that was available."

Veterans of the Exxon Valdez spill questioned the wisdom of trying to break up the oil in the deep water at the same time as trying to skim it on the surface. Other EPA experts raised alarm about the effect of dispersants on seafood.

Ruch said EPA experts were being excluded from decision-making on the spill. "Other than a few people in the united command, there is no involvement from the rest of the agency," he said. EPA scientists would not go public for fear of retaliation, he added.

***

Independent scientists also criticised the EPA for claiming that the combination of oil and dispersants posed no greater danger to marine life on its own.

On Wednesday, a toxicologist from Texas Tech University is scheduled to tell a Senate hearing that the unprecedented use of dispersants "created an eco-toxicological experiment".

 

"The bottom line is that a lot of oil is still at sea dispersed in the water column," said Ron Kendall. "It's a big ecological question as to how this will ultimately unfold." Previous studies, including a 400-page study by the National Academy of Sciences, have warned that the combination of oil and dispersants is more toxic than oil on its own, because the chemicals break down cell walls, making organisms more susceptible to oil.

 

The EPA issued a report on Monday, based on a study of how much of the mixture was needed to kill a species of shrimp and small fish, just two of the 15,000 types of marine life in the Gulf. The EPA test did not address medium- or long-term effects, or reports last week that dispersants were discovered in the larvae of blue crab, entering the food chain.

 

***

 

Hugh Kaufman, a senior EPA policy analyst, dismissed the tests as little more than a PR stunt.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:03 | 529592 M4570D0N
M4570D0N's picture

Oh, the post where you repeated Kaufman's insane claim that Blackrock has a majority ownership of BP? Yeah, I read it. I left a comment to you with respect to corexit as well in that post back then too.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 09:21 | 527910 schoolsout
schoolsout's picture

http://www.ombwatch.org/node/11062

Nalco has claimed that Corexit "is a simple blend of six well-established, safe ingredients that biodegrade, do not bioaccumulate and are commonly found in popular household products…The COREXIT products do not contain carcinogens or reproductive toxins."

The EPA website lists eight ingredients – not the six referred to by Nalco. Among the ingredients is 2-butoxy ethanol, which possesses the following characteristics:

  • 2-Butoxy Ethanol can affect you by ingestion and may be absorbed through the skin.
  • 2-Butoxy Ethanol should be handled as a CARCINOGEN--WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
  • Contact can irritate the skin and eyes with possible eye damage.
  • Inhaling 2-Butoxy Ethanol can irritate the nose and throat.
  • 2-Butoxy Ethanol can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
  • Exposure can cause headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, and passing out.
  • 2-Butoxy Ethanol may damage the liver and kidneys.
Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:28 | 529550 M4570D0N
M4570D0N's picture

cool story, bro.

Too bad the fact of the the matter is that, like I said, Corexit 9500 (the one that has been used in the Gulf almost since the beginning), does not contain 2-butoxyethanol. That's not even a debatable point.

That link you posted links to an EDF acticle that intentionally removed the asterisk next to 2-butoxyethanol,  so that they could then remove the footnote at the bottom of the table

*Note: This chemical component (Ethanol, 2-butoxy-) is not included in the composition of COREXIT 9500.

http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/dispersants-qanda.html#list

They could have linked directly to the table but chose to make the reader search for it on the EPA website so that that this would be harder to notice. Of course, the link you posted is the only one I see still trying to knowingly make this erroneous claim.

http://nalco.com/news-and-events/4297.htm

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 05:00 | 527727 LTJ
LTJ's picture

Thank You GW for posting these articles when BP and Gov't wants to suppress anything related to GOM.  Sadly enough, especially now, when the people there need all the support we can give them.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 10:50 | 528092 VWbug
VWbug's picture

so you are supporting the people in the Gulf, who rely on tourism for a nice part of their economy, by spreading ridiculous lies about the situation?

hahahahahaha

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 02:33 | 527682 Tic tock
Tic tock's picture

What I feel is arse-about-face, in general terms, is that there are times when the govt. feels it to be expedient to 'wait' for individual consumer choice to (have a chance in hell to..) sway policy and then there are times, like blowing up Iraq/Iran, when they patently don't.

As long as a solution can be answered with guns or money, the US is there- but come leadership, trust, following the law, any form of moral governance - what is it that scares the US from behaving adequately?

I understand the compromise involved in statecraft, yet in this case we're screwing with the basis of the Food chain, and globally we need Agricultural reform anyway plus a New Deal wouldn't be so bad - there must at least be 1% of the population who can contemplate what a large deflationary shock will mean to the modes of production - but at what point would 'the government' be comfortable with deciding to lead? 

 

the US vaunts its hegemonic status, but what good is that exactly?- if it can't get agriculture right. 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 02:30 | 527680 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Like Obama said: "What's good enough for dogs is good enough for Americans."

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 08:00 | 527814 Moonrajah
Moonrajah's picture

Dogs is a politically incorrect word, sir. I suggest "Canine American".

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 01:07 | 527638 Moonrajah
Moonrajah's picture

USSR had Chernobyl, India had the Bhopal disaster c/o Union Carbide.

Now US has the GOM destruction.

And although my heart goes to all the suffering people in the region, I hope this will take some self-righteousness from US talking down other countries in general.

Clueless dumbfucks and PTB-shills are irrespective of nationality or regime, and it is proven without a doubt that USA has a fair share of those as well as any other country in the world.

I hope the good people of US can find out the truth of what's really happening down there and have courage and the means to find a solution to the problems.

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 23:57 | 527577 tempo
tempo's picture

Based on your frequent excellent and informative postings, it appears the FEDs are in bed with BP yet they are slowly killing offshore drilling with the extended moratoriam and new onerous regulations.   IMO the US protects BP because the long time family ties at the highest levels and the joint war efforts over the past decade.  

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 23:55 | 527576 tempo
tempo's picture

Based on your frequent excellent and informative postings, it appears the FEDs are in bed with BP yet they are slowly killing offshore drilling with the extended moratoriam and new onerous regulations.   IMO the US protects BP but hates big oil companies because the long time family ties at the highest levels and the joint war efforts over the past decade.  

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:06 | 529594 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Lets go over the top here and take a far out guess as to why the drilling is being cut back. My thoughts: the TPTB have about got this fuck over of the country complete. Why deplete all that oil on trailer trash like us-uns when with some expedious die off of said trash world wide, the global population could go down to 2-3 Billion folks (slaves). Now there would be sufficient oil to keep their smaller world running without having to give up any extravances and at a reasonably more leisure pace get solar or wharever in good running shape.

6 Million Barrels of oil per day this country produces for maybe only 125 M people would probably work out swell.

We don't need more Oil--we just need fewer people for the existing amount of the black gold. Simple no??   Milestones

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 23:41 | 527555 BlackBeard
BlackBeard's picture

Well..... Just when I thought I couldn't become more jaded.....

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 23:27 | 527550 CashCowEquity
CashCowEquity's picture

ill stick to chicken, beef and pork( no im not muslim) for a while

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 23:17 | 527544 Dr. Goose
Dr. Goose's picture

In the Gulf, the first catch from the boaters 
Was endorsed by the Prez to the voters, 
Though contrarians stressed: 
"You may want to test 
For things with no taste or strong odors."  

http://www.limericksecon.com

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 23:12 | 527537 anvILL
anvILL's picture

They don't just lie to Americans. They lie to everyone in the world.
Don't you all remember the American government claiming that their beef was safe when there were problems?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 08:51 | 527869 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Spread the wealth.

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:49 | 527519 VWbug
VWbug's picture

we know the GOM is dead, we'll be lucky if iy doesn't kill off a substantial part of the N.Atlantic...there are no two ways about this, it's been written in stone. ..exactly what is the point of standing up in front of a freight train truth like this? 

No point, no point at all. I suggest you panic. Maybe suicide would be quicker since now the atlantic is dead and the pacific can't be far behind.

Or...buy guns, ammo and canned ham, that seems to be the best way to go about things.

/sarcasm off ('cause ..well some people really wouldn't get it, i know it scares me too)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 00:08 | 527592 akak
akak's picture

Or...buy guns, ammo and canned ham, that seems to be the best way to go about things.

Sockpuppet much?  Should we be addressing you as VWBug, or as JohnnyBravo, or as MasterBates?  It's just so hard to keep a troll's handle matched with his or her real identity!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 10:46 | 528084 VWbug
VWbug's picture

what a novel reply.

So you believe the GOM is dead, 100% sure, and the north atlantic will be next?

I'll be sure to pay a lot of attention to all your remarks. /sarcasm off

 

 

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:16 | 527475 wang
wang's picture

and from  this from the benzene affected HuffPuke circa 2008

Why Obama's Pick for NOAA Matters: Jane Lubchenco

 

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:19 | 527463 wang
wang's picture

forgive me

 

http://www.facebook.com/NOAA.Lubchenco

 

Jane Lubchenco I really enjoyed participating in today's online chat about seafood safety. If you weren't able to join us this afternoon, you can check out the video of today’s chat at www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2010/08/16/open-questions-gulf-seafood-safety. The White House has additional information on seafood safety ...

and this from the distinguished Nature (photo prior to her consumption of GOM seafood)

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090324/full/news.2009.182.html

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:06 | 527459 all_in_now
all_in_now's picture

'In addition, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says that oil doesn't bioaccumulate in fish, and that fish naturally "degrade and process" the oil'

WTF is this? I am a trained biologist. Fish is as good in degrading and processing oil as humans are. Now, that admistrator should drink some of this oil and we should watch her "degrade and process" that stuff.

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:06 | 527457 wang
wang's picture

and the ground zero air was harmless

 

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-78291366.html

 

 

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:06 | 527455 akak
akak's picture

"In addition, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says that oil doesn't bioaccumulate in fish, and that fish naturally "degrade and process" the oil:"

This is so patently and outrageously untrue, she might as well try to convince us that the sky is orange and grass is purple!  Any first year university biology student knows about and understands the bioaccumulation and bioconcentration of hydrophobic hydrocarbon compounds within the fatty tissues of marine organisms!  This woman deserves to be fired immediately from her position within NOAA for publicly disseminating such blatant lies, if not convicted on felony charges for willful public endangerment.

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 21:57 | 527448 Bankster T Cubed
Bankster T Cubed's picture

CDC

UFB, literally

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 21:33 | 527410 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"In addition, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says that oil doesn't bioaccumulate in fish, and that fish naturally "degrade and process" the oil:"

And in a related note - it has been proven that when unicorns ingest media and government propaganda, the skittles they shit are not materially effected.  Therefore, this Halloween, be sure to load up on those treats for all of the little ghosts and goblins sure to visit your neighborhood!

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 21:22 | 527392 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

the gov't has a hella track record with telling us which chemicals are "good" for us, yeah. . .

I'm going with the "evolutionary test" theory above - you eat it, you may not be the brightest bulb on the string. . .

pushing us all towards self-reliance, sourcing our own food supply via trusted, local community - win win really.

(as always, thanks George!)

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 20:53 | 527363 binky
binky's picture

 

 

"Crude oil contains such powerful cancer-causing chemicals as benzene, toluene, heavy metals and arsenic". In Government-speak this is just another way of saying "Vitamins". Imagine what Jack LaLanne could have accomplished after a lifetime of swimming in a large pool of spilled oil.

 

Three heads are always better than one.

 

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:46 | 527514 Hang The Fed
Hang The Fed's picture

Well, unless the second two are catastrophically idiotic and the first couldn't have found its own ass with two hands and a map.  Oddly enough, that projection would seem to fit nicely with the current parent/children relationship these days.

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 20:47 | 527355 business as stusual
business as stusual's picture

"I'll bet Charles Darwin would have some lovely quip to share with us if he were alive..."

 

"Hey you ! (blowing whistle) Out of the gene pool !"

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 21:53 | 527441 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Now that has me laughing out loud. Thanks.

Reminds me of my (much) younger days many (many) decades ago when I was causing all kinds of grief for the life guards at the local beach. I had my ass kicked out of the gene pool several times. Some might say I never returned. :>)

Very nice quip. Bravo!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 01:33 | 527653 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Was it the euGene McCarthy pool? :)

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 20:21 | 527322 truont
truont's picture

What do they think, that we're total and complete idiots?

Yes, they do.  And do you know what? They are right.

A month ago, I had a business dinner an hour north of the Gulf Coast and all 15 attendees ate seafood from the Gulf Coast for appetizers (except me).

I'll bet Charles Darwin would have some lovely quip to share with us if he were alive...

 

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 22:08 | 527460 wang
wang's picture

SNL material

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 20:10 | 527311 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

The govt lies to us about all the food we sea/e

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 19:46 | 527289 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Sweet and fruity chemicals in Corexit?  You know what this means right?  I'm seeing a whole new add campaign targeted at kids.  Kids love fruity and sweet!

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 23:16 | 527541 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

Tastes like happy

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 21:44 | 527427 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

Those who choose to can both literally and figuratively drink the Kool Aid.

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 21:27 | 527401 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Gummy Bears bitchez!

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 19:45 | 527285 El Hosel
El Hosel's picture

  They can kiss, smell, and taste my "Taint".

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 19:35 | 527274 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

Maybe the oil spill was the means and the corexit was the end???

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 19:34 | 527273 Misean
Misean's picture

Eeek!  Gives a whole new meaning to "I'll throw another shrimp on the Bar Bee for ya!"

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 19:32 | 527271 breezer1
breezer1's picture

in newfoundland there are more whales than i have ever seen in my life. giant sea turtles and large sharks also. killer whales are attacking the other whales. strange shit. 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2010/08/13/orcas-on-hunt-in-nl-813.html

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 19:26 | 527263 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

George Washington said: "What do they think, that we're total and complete idiots?"

Well, since we elected them, I think the answer is yes.

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 19:35 | 527275 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Of course when your options are picking from the "Red Team" or the "Blue Team" [who happen to both be bought and paid for by the same interests] folks don't really have that much of a choice.

Two heads - same monster.

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