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More Illnesses Tied to Gulf Fish

by Ellen Hardy
19 December 2007, at 12:00am

US - Health officials and seafood suppliers confirmed that 29 people have fallen ill in the St. Louis area after eating a fish caught in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The incidents underscore an emerging threat of ciguatera toxin, a poison that once was seldom found in fish caught in that part of the Gulf.

Although it has inspected the Louisiana supplier that originally processed the amberjack that sickened people in St. Louis, the US. Food and Drug Administration for the second day in a row declined to confirm plans to issue a new advisory to American seafood processors.

The FDA drafted the letter to seafood processors following months of research on fish caught near the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, a system of coral reefs about 100 miles off the coast of Galveston.

The tests, which confirmed ciguatera toxin in some fish, followed the poisoning of a Galveston couple that caught a grouper at the sanctuary in March, and two other cases in Alabama.

The Daily News obtained the FDA letter on Monday. Independent researchers have confirmed it has been distributed via e-mail in the scientific community, and that the FDA planned to release it soon, possibly this week.

Source: TheDailyNews

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Ellen Hardy