Potentially deadly infections in consumers of oyster
FDA backs down on raw oyster proposal
Last month, the FDA planned a proposal to mandate the processing of raw oysters harvested during the summer months. The aim was to limit the risk of potentially deadly infections with the naturally occurring bacterium Vibrio vulnificis in consumers.
In response, the oyster industry and lawmakers from around the Gulf Coast protested regarding the disastrous consequences the new law would have on the industry. Additionally, they said, the public health benefit would be minimal.
"By reversing course, the FDA has acknowledged that its original plan was unreasonable and that we need a commonsense approach to protecting the small number of at-risk consumers."
Conversely, consumer advocates claim that this decision poses a “health tragedy” for the public.
"Perhaps in the industry's mind the number of people who are sickened or die is worth it? However, for goodness sake, once the decision to require a pasteurization step in oysters was made by the FDA, the FDA should have the guts to stick with it," said Seattle lawyer and food safety advocate Bill Marler.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 15:30 (GMT + 9)
(Photo: Stock File)
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Arlington, Virginia, United States