NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal panel of about 50 experts is
recommending the continued use of chemical dispersants to break up
the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico, despite its harm to
plankton, larvae and fish.

Panel member Ron Tjeerdema (juh-DEER'-muh) said Friday they
decided the animals harmed by the chemicals underwater had a better
chance of rebounding quickly than birds and mammals on the

Tjeerdema chairs the Department of Environmental
Toxicology at the University of California, Davis.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asked for
the panel to be assembeled to provide the federal government and BP
with guidance on whether they should continue to use the
controversial dispersants.

Officials have released nearly 1.8 million gallons of chemicals
on and in the water since the April 20 blowout.

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