Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We're Gaining Traction

Just posted on WDSU
Online Petition Aims At FDA Oyster Rule Reversal


Smaktcat said...

Eat 'em raw Y'all!

ANDREW said...

There is much talk circulating as to the reason for these new regulations, and two of those possible explanations are disturbing.

The first is to the effect that Louisiana is being punished by the Obama administration because of the failure of the Louisiana Congressional delegation to support the Obama agenda on multiple issues unrelated to oysters.

The second is that the US west coast oyster industry has been trying for years to take away the Gulf oyster industry's market share by disease related scare tactics which have now culminated in these new proposed rules. The west coast oyster is a different and inferior species so the disease/scare tactics route is the only way to get people to eat their oysters.

Anyone have any thoughts or additional information on this ?

GIshuck said...

Hi Andrew,
These regulations have been in the works for some time, so I wouldn't give the first suggestion much weight, plus it's not in our best interest to politicize this issue.

California did ban Gulf Coast Oysters, and that act was see by some as a protectionist measure. I would say that the truth probably lies somewhere between. Alliances between pro-regulation public health interests and the CA oyster industry may have come together.

ANDREW said...

At what stage are the regulations right now ?

It would seem these would have been shot down during the comment period.

GIshuck said...

Here's the original press release from Kevin Begos, the Executive Director of the Franklin County Florida Oyster & Seafood Task Force, Inc. I think it's pretty telling. Kevin has been very active in fighting this policy, btw.

"An unprecedented proposal to ban raw Gulf Coast oysters, developed unilaterally by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration, will threaten thousands of jobs and crush a clean, sustainable fishery, according to food lovers, fishermen and community leaders.

On Saturday, Oct. 17 the FDA made a surprise announcement at a meeting of shellfish regulators and industry, telling them that the agency plans to ban the sale of live, in-the-shell Gulf Coast oysters for as much as 8 months every year. The proposed ban was developed without public input and FDA officials admit they have not analyzed the economic impact. Officials have also suggested that new restrictions may be in the works for West Coast and East Coast shellfish."

“This would cost us thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars if we were unable to sell our oysters as we do today. The new FDA direction makes no sense – Louisiana is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina,” said Al Sunseri of P & J Oyster Co. in New Orleans.