Private study disputes claims that Gulf seafood is safe

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

BILOXI, MS   (WLOX) - "I got the half shrimp po-boy and the gumbo," said Sam Raleigh of Ocean Springs.

"I got crab po-boy and gumbo," said Jennifer Adams of Biloxi.

Seafood favorites drew a large lunch crowd to Bruno's Cafe Wednesday. That's the same day Boston Chemical Data Corporation posted a study that raised questions about the presence of dispersants in Gulf seafood.

The company was hired by the United Commercial Fishermen's Association. When we told some customers about a study, most of them said they weren't worried at all about the safety of the shrimp and crab they were consuming.

"I believe it's safe," said Adams. "I think that if it wasn't, we would know about it, or the FDA would tell us."

"There's absolutely no hesitation whatsoever on my part eating seafood out of the Gulf," said Raleigh. "We're getting ready to have an anniversary party coming up here in a couple of weeks, and we're going to have a shrimp boil."

Chris Soldo co-owns the Biloxi restaurant. When asked how much of his seafood comes from the Gulf, he responded, "Every bit of it."

He continues to offer daily seafood specials, but Soldo said sales of seafood dishes have dropped since the oil spill. So he's putting more barbecue meats on the menu.

"People are skeptical of the product right now, and right now, it's as safe as you ever had. It's unbelievable how it's controlled and regulated," said Soldo.

Several customers at the Quality Seafood market next door agreed, saying they trust the government's findings.

"I just go with our inspectors, and they would not let it out if it wasn't good for the public to eat," said Margaret Woodall of Biloxi.

"I actually have a student that's heading back to Alaska tomorrow. And he's going to come down and buy seafood and have it packaged to ship back to Alaska. He's going to take some Gulf Coast seafood with him," said Raleigh.

The Department of Marine Resources, along with other state and federal agencies continue to stress, that Gulf seafood is safe to eat.

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