The Press-Register reports, the Food and Drug Administration "is allowing much higher PAH levels in shrimp, crabs and oysters based on the assumption that people eat more fish than the other types of seafood."
This "made a difference in Florida, where all nine of the shrimp samples tested before Florida waters reopened to commercial shrimping were double the level that would have triggered more testing for fish," according to the report.
Because of the "FDA’s higher 'Level of Concern' for shrimp meant no further testing was done," and "FDA officials said they were not concerned that the Florida shrimp samples tested about 30 times higher for PAHs than samples from neighboring Gulf states, because the shrimp remained well below the agency’s Level of Concern," the report added.
Specifically, "The 'estimated total PAH' level found in nine Florida shrimp samples caught off Pensacola tested between 28 and 31 parts per million, according to the FDA. Shrimp in neighboring Alabama, by contrast, tested between 0.2 and 1.2 parts per million. Mississippi shrimp tested between 1.2 and 1.8 parts per million."
According to Don Kraemer, a senior FDA official overseeing the seafood testing program, the FDA doesn't "have a good explanation" as to why the shrimp tested so high, yet he said "the answer is no" when it comes to further testing.
"Florida officials dismissed the FDA shrimp results because they were done with the fluorescence technique," however, "Kraemer said the agency tested the fluorescence method side by side with gas chromatography and found the results were similar," the report said.
The agency declined to release the results of that comparison testing or the full lab reports to the Press Register without the paper completing a Freedom of Information Act request.