Western Fishboat Owners Association want to assuage consumer concerns, present the facts
As information about radiation leaking from Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant emerge, concerns about contamination of Pacific seafood have been raised. The National Fisheries Institute(NFI), in partnership with U.S. commercial fishing associations and commissions have released the following points to clarify the situation and to assure consumers that local seafood is safe to eat.
The following points were outlined today by Gavin Gibbons of the National Fisheries Institute.
· The FDA has unequivocally stated seafood from the U.S. waters of the North Pacific is safe to eat.
· Less than 0.01% of the seafood Americans eat comes from Japan.
· The seafood community has been a full participant in stakeholder briefings with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)
· The seafood community is not only happy with the level of regulatory oversight committed to this effort, we are comfortable with assurances that those regulators are prepared to launch a multi-agency testing and inspection effort, in the unlikely scenario that airborne pollutants could affect U.S. fishermen or fish landed in the U.S.
· When it comes to seafood and food safety groups like NOAA, the FDA and EPA have a history of working together. They did it in the Gulf of Mexico during the oil spill and they’re doing it successfully now.
· We’ve been in close contact with NOAA, FDA and EPA and we’re pleased with their commitment, their coordination and their communication and what they’re communicating to consumers loud and clear is that American seafood is safe and anything from the affected area in Japan is being tested.
· It is important to understand that misinformation about the tragedy in Japan and the relative safety of seafood has the ability to cost hardworking Americans their jobs. Just like during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico exaggeration and hysteria over gulf seafood compounded that tragedy. There is no need for a repeat of that here. Gold standard science and robust regulation is keeping Americans, and the seafood they enjoy, safe.
· Over simplified, cartoonish graphics that depict radioactive fish swimming towards the U.S. are a gross over simplification and are quite frankly erroneous. Regulators are clear, the great quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean rapidly and effectively dilutes radioactive material, so fish and seafood are likely to be unaffected. While unaffected seafood isn’t the headline some seek during a disaster like this one it is simply the truth.
· Any suggestion that American fishing fleets are not operating at full capacity based on concerns about the incident in Japan would be a false representation.
FDA's declaration about the safety of seafood makes it easy to continue eating fish from all over and supporting American seafood.