ABC7 interviewed Mote Marine Laboratory's senior scientist Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick on Feb. 27th about whether there are any long-term effects of red tide on humans, to which she responded "I don't think there's any evidence yet that we have to worry about long-term exposure."
Really? What kind of evidence does Dr. Kirkpatrick think is lacking?
Is Dr. Kirkpatrick pointing to a lack of large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human studies showing that chronic "low-dose" red tide exposure is anything but harmless? Because if this the standard of proof she requires in order to make a determination about possible health risks to an already exposed public, we shall never know the truth, as such a study is not only unethical to perform, but would be too expensive to attract the necessary funding. In the meantime, following Dr. Kirkpatrick's disregard for any reasonable sense of caution, you can view tourists and locals eating red tide affected shellfish and swimming in the Gulf, unaware that anything could be wrong or unhealthy with these routine behaviors.