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Monday, February 06, 2006


Toss out the New Orleans "toxic soup" myth

Time was when the mention of Louisiana's culinary delights brought to mind such fare as the "jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a fillet [a] gumbo" that Hank Williams sang of. But if you believe the media and environmentalists, after Hurricane Katrina hit in August it seemed the only item on the menu was "toxic soup."

Google "Katrina" and "toxic soup" and you'll get about 25,000 hits. To a lesser extent you'll find mentions of such culinary delights as "toxic sediments," "toxic dust," and "toxic air."

There are many recipes for toxic soup, but they generally comprise some combination of fecal coliform, industrial chemicals such as brominated flame retardants (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), petroleum byproducts such as benzene, and such metals as copper, lead, zinc and arsenic.

New Orleans floodwater after the deluge was "typical of storm water runoff in the region," according to a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology in October. There was little evidence of "elevated concentrations of toxic pollutants."

McDaniel is fed up enough with toxic soup talk that he's sent out a letter to newspapers requesting the term be removed from reporters' and environmentalists' menus, as well as the related toxic dishes.

"Alarmists," McDaniel writes in his letter, "announced we were killing Lake Pontchartrain by pumping the floodwaters back into the lake. Extensive testing shows no adverse effect on the lake's ecosystem. Water quality is good and bacteria levels are below the most stringent water quality standards established for swimming. Sampling by state and federal agencies show seafood in the lake, estuaries and surrounding coastal areas is safe for consumption.

Indeed, the Environmental Science and Technology study said that the main potential hazard was to fish, but there was no evidence of fish kills in Lake Pontchartrain.

"Scaremongering by alarmists and the media coverage they receive has created unnecessary anxiety for those displaced by the storm and who are trying to decide if they can safely return," McDaniel writes. "Having to respond to inaccurate, misleading and often outrageous claims diverts resources from environmental and public health agencies that are already stretched extremely thin in hurricane recovery efforts."

By Michael Fumento

See full article here
I am amazed that, as each month passes after Katrina, we are seeing more and more of what the media breathlessly reported on the monumental disaster, all of which was man-made. Rapes, murders, robberies -- didn't happen. It was Bush and the GOP's fault -- Democrats control Louisiana. The levies were defunded by Bush -- LA democrats ended up misusing the funds for parks and pet projects. And now, among the growing number of deflated myths about the Katrina event, we have the toxic soup myth debunked.

Pile this on top of the fake Bush Nat'l Guard documents and the many revelations of plagiarism and outright fabrication from writers of history to the New York Times and we get a national Media that just cannot be trusted under any circumstances.

-Warner Todd Huston
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