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for interested consumers to modify individual risks by altering their consumption of specific species, and of fresh and marine seafood originating in specific areas. Such targeting should include efforts not only to close or reduce harvesting of high-risk species from high-risk areas, but also to reduce the input of contaminants to the local marine environment. A strong effort should be made to develop systems for containment of waste that do not involve atmospheric or aquatic dumping. Coordination of efforts to improve the health of aquatic ecosystems with efforts to improve the safe management of seafood resources will have benefits for both types of social objectives.
Performance of Current Federal Regulatory Authorities in Assessing and Managing Risks
The overall posture of relevant federal agencies, particularly FDA, appears to be almost totally reactive. Whether due to inadequate resources, priorities implicit in the relevant enabling legislation, or an ideological disinclination to raise issues that might run counter to the prevailing trend toward deregulation, it is the committee's overall judgment that there has been less effort than would be desirable to discover and quantify hazards, to evaluate options for the reduction of risks, and to implement prudent policies that protect both the health of consumers and the stability of commercial markets.
Data Gathering for Risk and Control Analysis
With the notable exception of a data base created by Hall et al. (1978) for inorganic elements and never completely analyzed, the data bases available for quantifying human exposure to seafood-borne toxicants, setting priorities for control measures, and appropriately advising consumers of risks are grossly inadequate. Even though 90% of FDA's analytical samples are classified as having been taken for "surveillance" rather than "compliance" purposes, the data do not adequately represent national seafood consumption. Several extensively consumed species have not been analyzed at all, and others have received minimal effort. There has been virtually no monitoring by FDA for PCBs or pesticides in bivalves.
Some of the available sampling data are difficult to interpret or entirely useless because of inaccuracies in classification of the species concerned and inadequate recording of the geographic areas of harvest. Relatively high detection limits have been tolerated for some analytical tests, probably because the agency has focused primarily on determining the incidence of residues over a certain level that would violate current standards, rather than quantifying the overall dose delivered to consumers.
Risk Assessment Practices
Carcinogenesis risk assessment procedures should be modified to give decision makers additional information about the uncertainties of analysis, as well as both aggregate and individual risk estimates. In particular, to facilitate evaluation of the