We're more turf than surf here in Kansas City, which means we don't have a lot of fresh seafood options. Many Kansas Citians are wondering if the seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat.
AOL News -- along with the rest of the country -- was wondering the same thing. Last night, the site published the results of a two-week investigation into who is responsible for determining the safety of the seafood and just how the food is tested.
The hang-up, according to AOL's Andrew Schneider, appears to be over the word "safe." While initial testing by biologists and toxicologists hasn't found harmful levels of contaminants in Gulf seafood, the question of what is acceptable is up for debate. Right now, the determination for what is safe is based on a 2002 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. AOL reports:
It explains that the acceptable cancer risk assessment is derived from how much seafood a person eats, over what period of time and the level of contamination found. What that means is the seafood is deemed safe if it doesn't increase a person's lifetime cancer rate by more than one additional case in a million people.For now, even though it's slightly unsettling, Schneider's advice of asking your fishmonger for more information about what's in the case is likely the best advice. At least until the waters in the Gulf get a little less murky.