FDA Claims Gulf Seafood Is Safe (Despite Deformed Fish)

2 years after the BP oil spill, gulf seafood remains a concern to both business and health

Those eyeless shrimp, fish with lesions, and blue crabs without claws you found in the Gulf of Mexico? Don't worry, you're not eating that, says the FDA.

Two years after the disastrous BP oil spill, food officials are once again reassuring fish lovers that seafood from the Gulf is safe — despite creepy photographic evidence of mutant fish. The FDA says diseased fish aren't allowed to be sold. The FDA has already tested nearly 10,000 fish to detect chemicals from the oil spill, and is continuing to test the seafood fishermen catch. Plus, they say it's a very small amount of chemicals that have almost no effect on human health: in an Associated Press article, the FDA says "someone could eat 9 pounds of fish or 5 pounds of oyster meat a day for five years and still not reach the levels of concern for a key set of chemicals."

Still, the mutant fish aren't exactly convincing scientists of seafood safety. An Al Jazeera report found widespread reports of mutant fish that fishermen and scientists alike believe are a direct cause of the oil spill. Take the nearly 400 pounds of eyeless shrimp one shrimp fisherman found or the fish found with lesions and "sponges" growing on oysters. It's certainly not helping Gulf fishermen recover economic losses from the spill; a reported $46 million was lost in the Gulf seafood industry in 2010. Seafood catches also declined by 69 million pounds — and the Gulf usually brings in about 1.2 billion pounds of seafood each year. Yikes.