Enviro Groups Question Oyster Safety Off Louisiana

Sampling by environmental groups has found oysters contaminated with oil along the Louisiana coast befouled by the BP PLC oil spill, a finding that casts doubt on statements by state and federal officials that all seafood tested here is safe to eat.

Batches of oysters were sampled on Aug. 2 and 3 near the mouths of the Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers and laboratory tests revealed the animals were tainted by oil, according to Wilma Subra, a well-known Louisiana chemist working for environmental groups. The oysters were obtained from a reef and an old crab trap, she said.

She said oil was found in the animals even though there was no obvious sign of oil on them. She said the oil – which she believes comes from the BP oil spill – at the levels found in lab tests is very unusual.

"We found oysters in the shell and they appeared to have accumulated the hydrocarbons," Subra said. "I would think that these are indications that there is contamination in the oysters and additional sampling should be performed."

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Businessweek.