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Dioxin in Mississippi Catfish

  Although yesterday's news articles from Arkansas and 
  Mississippi made it seem that the finding of dioxin in catfish 
  was new,   Fiedler et al. (1997 found quite high levels back in 1994. 
  It seems unlikely that these findings were not disclosed to 
  U.S. officials well before the publication of this paper. Also, it 
  will be interesting to compare these anomalous  congener profiles 
  with those in the new data collected by UDSA/EPA.
  Fiedler H, Cooper KR, Bergek S, Hjelt M, Rappe C.  Polychlorinated 
  dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) in 
  food samples collected in southern Mississippi, USA.Chemosphere 1997 
    In 1994, we analyzed 43 foodstuff samples from local supermarkets in 
  southern Mississippi, USA, for PCDD/PCDF. 2,3,7,8-Cl4DD could be 
  quantified in 31 of these samples. On a lipid basis, levels in meat 
  (0.53-1.10 pg I-TEQ/g) and dairy products (0.42-1.10 pg I-TEQ/g) were 
  slightly lower than those reported from other indust alized 
  countries. While levels in dairy samples from the United States and 
  Europe are comparable, there is a difference in the contribution of 
  individual congeners to the I-TEQ: for example, in milk samples from 
  Germany approximately 40% of the I-TEQ is due to the presence of 2,3, 
  4,7,8-Cl5DF while in the Mississippi samples this congener only 
  contributes 16%. The highest concentrations of PCDD/PCDF in our study 
  were detected in the farm-raised catfish (10.2-27.8 pg I-TEQ/g). A 
  unique finding was that in addition to the 2,3,7,8-substituted 
  PCDD/PCDF the catfish samples contained many non-2,3,7,8-substituted 
  congeners. This is unusual because vertebrate animals selectively 
  eliminate or metabolize the non-2,3,7,8-substituted congeners. 
  Pat Costner
  P.O. Box 548, or 512 CR 2663
  Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632 USA
  ph:  501-253-8440
  fx:  501-253-5540
  em:  pat.costner@dialb.greenpeace.org