By now, on the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, most of us have quit thinking about that disaster. But judging from the photos above, we’re making a mistake.
Less than six months after the spill, the FDA declared seafood from the Gulf safe for consumption, and the agency continues to hold this stance: In January of 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) deputy commissioner, Michael Taylor, declared that “Gulf seafood is as safe to eat now as it was before the spill.”
On his agency’s blog, Taylor describes how Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) — a group of potentially cancer-causing chemicals that are found in coal tar, crude oil and even chargrilled or "blackened" food — were measured and used as the safety marker for the FDA’s conclusion. The FDA tested over 10,000 seafood specimens and reported that, “in most cases, no PAHs were found, and, when they were, the PAH levels in the seafood were 100 to 1,000 times below the levels which would raise a health concern.”