One Year Since Gulf Oil Spill, Testing Shows Florida's Gulf Seafood is Safe to Eat
~ Commissioner Putnam Assures Consumers Florida's Gulf Seafood is Safe and Plentiful ~
April 18, 2011
Tallahassee, FL - In the one year since Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has collected and tested 230 seafood samples and results show that Florida Gulf seafood is safe to eat, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam told reporters today.
“The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is aggressively testing Florida seafood to ensure it is safe to eat,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Our findings show that Florida seafood is safe and plentiful. I encourage consumers to put Florida seafood back on their plates and back in their diet.”
The Department’s Division of Food Safety is the leader among Gulf coast states in testing seafood for effects of the oil spill. The Department’s Chemical Residue Lab has screened more than 230 samples to date, including finfish, shrimp, crabs, lobsters and oysters, and less than 11 percent were found to have traces of possible oil contaminants. All findings of traces are less than 1/1000th of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) levels of concern.
Summaries of the findings from the Chemical Residue lab are routinely posted online. For the most recent summary of seafood analyses, visit http://www.fl-seafood.com/videos/flash/Gulf_safe.htm. More detailed information is also available upon request.
Recently, Commissioner Putnam announced an agreement with BP for $20 million over the next three years to enhance the Department’s testing capabilities and bolster its marketing efforts to raise awareness for the safety of Gulf seafood. $10 million will be granted to the Division of Food Safety to build on its routine testing for oil, dispersants and metals by increasing its technological capabilities and workforce. The remaining $10 million will be granted to the Division of Marketing to reassure consumers and commercial buyers that Florida seafood products are safe and delicious.
Commissioner Putnam’s commitment to helping restore confidence in Florida’s Gulf seafood will be reinforced this week as he travels to Florida’s Gulf Coast to provide an update on seafood testing results and speak with Floridians who were impacted by the oil spill. Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will also join Commissioner Putnam in Panama City on Tuesday for their twice monthly Cabinet meeting and other Florida Gulf-focused events.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.