Friday, November 13, 2009
NYT 11/12/09 U.S. Plans Raw Warm-Water Oyster Ban
There is a federal effort to ban the sale of raw oysters harvested during the warm months along the Gulf Coast unless they are processed by freezing and pasteurization. The raw oysters harbor a deadly bacteria that kill 15 people each year. There is a debate over the decline of the oyster industry if the ban is passed and the F.D.A to protect public health. There are arguments over the taste of treated oysters and how people will stop buying them if the taste is not the same and not as good. It is hard to interfere with the livelihood of a number of people but it is also hard to know that without regulation that 15 people are pretty much guaranteed to die a year from eating raw oysters infected with this deadly bacteria. It is a choice people make to decide to risk getting the oysters with the bacteria but they don't always consider the risk or that they might be susceptible. I do think that the F.D.A regulates to protect the health of humans and I do think they have the right to at least enforce warnings on the packaging or menus so people are fully aware of the potential danger of their food if not enforce an entire ban on oysters that were not processed to kill the bacter.