Posts Tagged ‘FDA’
A new study from the University of California-Davis shows a combination of sunlight and oil exposure can cause the “physical disintegration” of fish embryos. The process, called phototoxicity, was documented in the aftermath of the 2007 Cusco Busan spill which occurred when a tanker hit the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco to Oakland.
From the La Times:
“This phenomenon had been observed in the laboratory, but had never been observed in the field, and there were even some skeptics out there wondering if this was just a phenomenon that people would see under lab conditions,” said Gary Cherr, director of the Bodega Marine lab. “One of the real take-home messages from our study was: yes, in fact, it definitely happens in the real world.”
As Stuart Smith points out, the study echoes countless observations from fishermen around the Gulf about depleted catches.
And obviously, if this did/is occurring in the Gulf, it will take that much longer for fisheries and the seafood industry to rebound.
So, all that being said…here’s what really pisses me off about this.
In a perfect world, we would see a simple reaction to the news of such a study:
British Petroleum, alarmed for the welfare of the fishing industry in the Gulf Coast would hire scientists, free and clear from any restrictions of reporting and publication who would then work with government scientists operating free and clear of any political agendas to figure out if what’s described in this study is indeed occurring in the Gulf, and if so, immediately work together with input from the fishing industry to address this problem. In this refreshing climate, one that operates beyond political and litigious constraints and influence, the information would flow freely. The primary objective would be the protection and benefit of the environment, the people and seafood industries along the Gulf Coast, the same Gulf Coast which never asked for this fucking oil spill.
And because of this established, open climate, when the studies were released, they would be trusted.
Alas, this environment has never existed in the Gulf.
From day one, BP has operated on damage control while the government operated in the shadow of Bush’s disastrous response to Katrina, and the EPA, NOAA and FDA? Their functions have been utterly compromised by a decade of corporate and political influence and funding cuts.
The only truth to be had in the Gulf depends on which opinion you wish to adopt.
And none of this helps anybody but those who already have the resources, connections and influence to not need anymore help…and now this whole subjective line of shenanigans and bullshit is playing out in the MDL too…with double dipping attorneys, conflicts of interest and corporate bullying while the campaign contributions fly…
Fucking ridiculous…just read these:
So…here’s what you got:
Running this show in the Gulf are the same people who’s agendas caused the problems in the Gulf: British Petroleum and their continuing poor safety record, the government and their continuing poor monitoring of oil platforms, insufficient testing of seafood, and willingness to let entire ecosystems disappear in the name of profit and/or deregulation.
Getting screwed in the Gulf: that would continue to be claimants involved with the GCCF, fishermen with little to catch being told by television commercials how well they’re doing, and frankly, the rest of the people in the Gulf Coast left to wonder if they’re going to get sick from contaminants, from seafood, and from Corexit…all because they are at the mercy of agendas they and their families don’t factor into.
And now, that legal system designed to be the fail safe, the protector, the last stop…it too shows signs of being influenced by the same bullshit agendas that have been played out across four states for over twenty months.
Swear to God, It’s almost enough to make one think that those fish embryos had it easy…
Their only agenda was death and dying.
Have a nice day.
Two competing articles published a day apart have a very different take on the safety of Gulf Seafood…
In the first, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries report that not one bit, smidgen or iota of toxic chemicals has ever been found in Gulf Seafood and therefore the seafood is safe to eat, while in the second article, though first quoting the FDA’s website which reports the seafood “is as safe to eat as before the spill,” (a whole ‘nother can of worms), the article goes on to quote Louisiana fishermen and NRDC scientist Gina Solomon who seriously dispute the government’s findings.
Or…in other words, what’s your agenda?
Says the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:
“The testing protocol, the first of its kind, analyzes water and seafood samples for pollutants found in the spilled oil and in various chemicals applied to disperse the oil. So far, no contaminants have been detected in any piece of seafood tested since the spill…”
Says the FDA:
“The seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to consume for all consumers including pregnant women and children,” he asserts before adding, “The amount of seafood that somebody would have to eat would be the equivalent to sixty-three pounds of shrimp, or five pounds of oyster, or nine pounds of fin fish every day for five years before they would exceed levels to be concerned of. That’s how low the residues are in the seafood.”
Says Gina Solomon:
FDA only examined what would be safe for an adult. When they did their calculations they looked at what level of contamination would be safe for a 176 pound person. Children are known to be more vulnerable to contaminants in seafood because they eat more per pound of their bodyweight and their developing bodies are more sensitive to harmful contaminants. What’s more, in a pregnant woman, these contaminants can cross the placenta and harm the developing fetus. This increased vulnerability is well-known to science, and other agencies require that children be included in safety assessments.
Meanwhile, fishermen in the region continue to wonder aloud how the seafood can be safe when the shrimp seasons this year were so bad, with very little to catch, not to mention the state of the seafood they are catching:
“Fisherman are bringing in shrimp without any eyes … they evidently have lost their eyes and they’re still alive.”
So, who’s right?
Who do you want to believe?
Would seem to me that’s a personal decision…but if someone were to ask me, and I assume if you’re still reading this, you are…I might be more willing to bet my health on local fishermen and the NRDC, for a number of reasons:
Barack Obama will only benefit from clean bills of health when it comes to the Gulf. Many voters have placed the Gulf response at his feet and if this response is seen as ineffective, that affects him and his re-election chances. British Petroleum donates a great deal of money to Obama and are in bed with his administration as they begin to receive new leases for deep-sea drilling. The oil company would also love to see the perception of safe seafood begin to take hold so they can stop compensating fishermen. The state of Louisiana wants all to be well because it is their citizens being harmed by the bad reputation of Gulf seafood, a reputation that continues to be voiced outside of the Gulf Coast. Local fishermen, on the other hand, why the hell would they want to be quoted as saying something is wrong with the seafood if they didn’t believe it to be true? Feinberg and the GCCF have been short-changing everybody, livelihoods and whole ways of life are being impacted. Fishermen receive no benefit from ongoing bad perceptions whereas the NRDC, not beholden to the government or corporate sponsorship gains nothing from questioning the thoroughness of government testing or the claims of government agencies.
Oh…and the even worse problem?
Corporations and the United States Government have a long history of placing political perception and financial bottom lines over the health and welfare of their consumers and citizens and as a result, skepticism of their claims are automatic to almost anybody but the true believer. It is this distrust, born of their bad behavioral patterns that necessitates doubt of their claims…and it shouldn’t have had to be this way; it didn’t have to be this way…
But, it is…and who the hell wants to eat an eyeless shrimp?
Read the articles:
Have a nice day.
It’s got to be hard to be a shrimper.
I know I certainly don’t envy anyone who makes their living by what they catch from Gulf waters, be they shrimpers or fishers or whoever, because things don’t seem to be getting much better. The catch, especially the shrimp catch is way off, with some shrimpers estimating their catch to be off by 80%. In one article I read, a company used to taking in ten thousand pounds of shrimp per day has taken in about 41,000 pounds all season.
And it isn’t just the shrimp.
Many have read reports of the killifish, and the cellular damage done to its reproductive functions and gills as a result of hydrocarbon poisoning. Many also are aware this small minnow like fish is near the bottom of the food chain and is considered a good indicator of the Gulf’s general health.
Even Ken Feinberg seemed to backtrack the other day on his estimation of a recovered Gulf by 2013 when he said of the shrimp catch, “We are monitoring this, and we are sensitive to these concerns. We reserve the right to change the formula if anecdotal and empirical evidence justifies it.” And that’s about as close to an admission of error as one’s likely to get from Ken, not that he’ll actually change anything but I suppose admitting to a problem is the first step.
Oh and let’s see, what else? Ah yes, though the FDA has maintained the Gulf seafood is safe to eat, a new study has challenged this assumption, reporting the FDA’s qualifications on what constitutes safe are incredibly flawed.
So…bad catches, sick fish, FDA screw-ups…yep, it’s got to be hard to be a shrimper, a fisher, anyone working the Gulf waters these days…and besides the fact the oil’s still out there, you know what else isn’t helping, what’s making this whole Gulf Coast mess even worse?
Eighteen months later, the information is still inconsistent. We’ve been treated to eighteen months of profit margins, legal maneuverings and a whole range of answers and/or denials to every goddamned question…
Everyone has been forced to endure eighteen months of agendas.
The EPA, the FDA and the NOAA all appear to have an agenda designed to make it seem the Gulf is perfectly fine. British Petroleum’s agenda is all about savings and profit margin, all the time, and their stance too is that everything is okay in the Gulf. The Obama Administration has their own agendas, their own problems. For starters, they’re not seen as trustworthy, having initially ceded far too much control to British Petroleum in the capping of the well and the clean-up, and now, today, they are widely perceived as having forgotten the Gulf Coast even exists at all…
And all these agendas, they all bring us back to the seafood industry.
What exactly is a fisher supposed to make of all this? That person who is just trying to get their life back to normal, who wants to get back to work, but also doesn’t want to make anybody sick; what the fuck are they supposed to do? Who are they supposed to believe? Who are they supposed to trust? BP? The government? The FDA and NOAA? All these entities telling them everything is fine, or the increasingly negative academic studies, not to mention the fishers own years of experience in the Gulf waters, showing them that something appears to be wrong out there…
So hard to know for sure, and such an unenviable place to be.
And you know what really pisses me off?
It didn’t have to be this way, not at all.
If British Petroleum had stuck to their promises to make people whole. If Feinberg had stuck to his promises to take care of the people in the Gulf British Petroleum hadn’t gotten to, perhaps then the financial pressures could have been eased off on everybody. If the Obama Administration had done more than toss out a fucking speech and Barack had come down to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and done more than look concerned, pick up a tarball or eaten a damned shrimp…if Obama had worked, as a leader and kept the Gulf, and everything the Gulf means to this country in the foreground of American consciousness…maybe then these problems would seem more manageable today, to everybody.
If the only agenda in the Gulf had been to make sure people were taken care of and those responsible for this mess were held accountable…yes, if that had been the only agenda, then today in the Gulf we might at least have trust.
Instead, all we got are versions of what’s real: BP’s version, Obama’s version, the FDA’s version, the NRDC’s version, LSU’s, the shrimper’s, Halliburton’s and the GCCF’s version…just to name a few.
And that ain’t helping anybody.
Certainly not the public, and certainly not the people who continue to suffer as a result of BP’s catastraphuk.
So what now?
Wish I knew…all I hope for at this point is that Feinberg, for once, can be taken at his word, and he actually will take a long, hard look at the recovery estimates he based his methodology upon…because if you work harder to catch only 20% of the shrimp you normally get, the payment methodology needs to be changed.
Oh, and to the BP spokesman who said the 80% drop-off in the shrimp catch is within the normal range of good and bad seasons, you are just one more bullshit microphone with another ethically conflicted agenda, and you should be tossed into the next oil sheen spotted on the Gulf’s surface above the Macondo wellhead.
So, to sum up…a corporation screwed up and did billions in financial damage to an entire region of the country, not to mention the emotional toll on people and the physical toll on the environment. The people have recourse to the law, but that is a process that could take decades. The government issues false platitudes and seems to disappear just when they are needed most, almost as if they are backing the corporations that did the damage rather than the people who got screwed.
And nobody goes to jail.
Hey, now that I think about it, sure sounds familiar, kinda like what those people in New York are so pissed off about.
Maybe its time to occupy British Petroleum.
Have a nice day.
A new study published online yesterday reports the Food and Drug Administration vastly underestimated the cancer risk from seafood when the agency allowed commercial fishing in the Gulf to resume.
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman and Gina Solomon of the Natural Resources Defense Council authored the study where they found that by using flawed assumptions and outdated risk assessment methods, the FDA allowed up to 10,000 times too much contamination and didn’t identify the risks to children and pregnant women posed by eating the contaminants.
Based on the study, the NRDC filed a petition asking the FDA to protect the public by setting a standard that limits PAH’s in seafood. PAH’s can cause cancer, birth defects, neurological delays and liver damage.
And, wouldn’t you know this ain’t the first time the government’s testing of seafood has been called into question.
Remember this one, last year?
“Citing what the law firm calls a state-of-the-art laboratory analysis, toxicologists, chemists and marine biologists retained by the firm of environmental attorney Stuart Smith contend that the government seafood testing program, which has focused on ensuring the seafood was free of the cancer-causing components of crude oil, has overlooked other harmful elements. And they say that their own testing — examining fewer samples but more comprehensively — shows high levels of hydrocarbons from the BP spill that are associated with liver damage.”
Or how about this one:
A survey of 547 coastal residents in the four Gulf states by the Natural Resources Defense Council found they had seafood consumption rates far higher than those being used by federal and state regulators to determine if contamination levels pose a risk to human health, “What we are saying is our survey identified large numbers of people who are eating more seafood than the FDA (federal Food and Drug Administration) assumes in its guidelines. My assumption is there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who are not protected by the FDA guidelines.”
Which of course leads a reasonable person to wonder…who exactly is the FDA trying to protect?
Perhaps it’s British Petroleum…
By the FDA saying it’s safe to fish, the fishers who might have questioned the safety of the seafood and refused to bring potentially contaminated fish to market would seem to have left themselves open to having their claims denied by the GCCF, as Ken Feinberg points to the opened waters and says, you could have earned a living according to the FDA, you simply chose not to, and that is not BP’s fault.
Or maybe it’s the Obama Administration…
To most people paying attention to what was going on in the Gulf last summer, it seemed that what the Obama administration wanted more than anything else was for this whole oil spill thing to just go away, from the all the oil is gone pie chart to the US Coast Guard bending to the will of BP at every moment. Not a big leap to see the FDA pitching in to help, declaring the seafood safe, and attempting to move the problems of the Gulf a little further from the minds of most Americans.
Well, the FDA certainly isn’t trying to protect the public…
I mean, they either really suck at their job, or more likely, they have been putting the public second in importance for decades…sincerely, ever done a Google search on FDA scandal?
Yeah, it ain’t pretty…and the FDA?
They ain’t right…who knows who they were trying to protect…quite possible they don’t even know anymore, especially when Big Pharma didn’t have anything to do with the oil spill. Without the pharmaceutical industry calling the shots, or Monsanto…face it, the FDA is just lost.
Read the article and the report:
Have a nice day.
“David is not optimistic. He sees too many signs that things are not right with the shrimp catches so far. But what worries David even more is what he’s seeing—or not seeing—in the waters 20 miles offshore. He’s not seeing many small bait fish that snapper and mackerel–all predator fish–depend on. David says many fish bellies he sees are often empty, signaling they may be starving, and that some contain an unusual black substance he believes is linked to oil. Other fish David catches have lesions or strange markings that other scientists are finding too. He’s been unable to get authorities to pay attention to it. And some simply don’t want to, he says.”
And the quotes that make me angry:
“We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t,” David says in a soft southern drawl that punctuates his decades of fishing in the Gulf. “Some people say we shouldn’t say anything about things that aren’t right so we can protect our markets. Others say we should complain so we make BP accountable. But from what I’ve seen around here, BP hasn’t been accountable for much of anything.”
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
Bob Dudley, presiding over the British Petroleum shareholders meeting, read aloud the names of the eleven men who died on the Deepwater Horizon, and then spoke of , “working hard to earn back trust…through our actions, not just our words…”
– Oh, and he proceeded to mock an activist shareholder, Antonia Juhasz, who read a letter written by the father of one of the men killed, saying in response, “Many of your statements sound like they were prepared by a plaintiff’s attorney.”
Bob Dudley, presiding over the British Petroleum shareholders meeting outlined several of the changes British Petroleum has made to revamp its management structure and build safety into its everyday operations, thus hopefully making drilling safer.
– Oh, and shareholders proceeded to re-elect as director Sir William Castell, who as chairman of the company’s safety, ethics and environment assurance committee presided over the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.
– And…Mr. Castell was also the individual at the meeting who tried to cut off Antonia Juhasz when she read, “This was no act of God — BP, Halliburton and Transocean could have prevented this…but it would have taken more time, more money, and you were too greedy to wait. You rolled the dice with my son’s life, and you lost.”
– And…shareholders then proceeded to award bonuses to various executives, including making Tony Hayward eligible for vested performance shares for 2010, worth up to 8 million pounds.
BP Chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, also presiding over the British Petroleum shareholders meeting, said a lot as he tried to reassure restless stockholders, “”Everything we have done since Deepwater Horizon has had one aim; to win back the trust of shareholders and communities the world over…” and, “BP remains a great company, with a great history and, I believe, a great future…” and, “I can assure you I will do everything I can to bring a prosperous future for this company.”
– Oh, and shareholders proceeded to authorize BP to continue making political donations…
– Because…donating to political figures is something BP will surely need to do, for though Mr. Svanberg is confident in the future of his great company, the future is not so assured for the “community,” for the Gulf Coast residents who have been so harmed by the actions of his company, and there still remain a few politicians who will need donations to forget this fact.
– And…even though Bob Dudley can say that 99% of fishing waters in the Gulf have reopened and the EPA nd FDA’s testing of seafood from said opened waters is safe to eat, the general public is still not so convinced, thus, nobody is buying the seafood.
– And…even though Bob Dudley can say he is determined to earn back the trust of communities, it is his company which unleashed a Ken Feinberg on the Gulf Coast who while doing his best to ensure BP remains solvent, is doing far less to guarantee the same for the Gulf Coast residents.
– And finally…though Bob Dudley can respectfully recite the names of eleven men to his company’s shareholders, many will debate just how much of it was media/political theater, and how much of it, considering the other activities that occurred at this meeting, was sincere feeling for both the grieving families, and for a region still trying to recover, a region that still hopes, one day soon, their reality might again sync up with the glowing reports from British Petroleum’s own public relations campaign.
– Oh, and have a nice day.