Remember the tests that were being done on Gulf seafood last summer, including the "seafood sniffers", to check for oil and carcinogens? The NOAA tested for PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that are typically found in crude oils and concluded that there was "low potential to bioaccumulate in seafood" and "low in human toxicity." The remaining issue is that they weren't checking for toxins and carcinogens in the dispersants used to clean up the oil. The fish eat the dispersant then we eat the fish, therefore we're also eating the dispersant.
To determine how much seafood the typical person eats to determine how much oil and/or dispersant one could potentially consume, the FDA is gathering information from their national average. However, they haven't taken into consideration that people in the Gulf Coast region eat a lot more seafood than the average American. The NRDC has just released their independent study and found that Gulf Coast residents consume 3.6-12.1 times as much seafood as the national average.
The NRDC and 36 Gulf Coast groups have issued a letter to the FDA in an effort to get them to reexamine the risks of the region's seafood consumption patterns.
Pro Publica writes, "Until that dispersant test is ready, both the FDA and NOAA have said that 'based on current science,' the dispersants BP is using have 'a low potential to bioaccumulate in fish flesh and are low in human toxicity, and therefore there is no significant public health risk associated with consuming seafood that has been exposed to them.'"