Marilyn Kilgen, an expert on seafood-borne pathogens and a microbiology professor at Nicholls State University, has spent the past 30 years studying Vibrio bacteria in oysters.
She contends the FDA’s new rule is not only detrimental to the oyster industry and the majority of consumers, for whom eating raw, unprocessed oysters are a delicacy that may carry health benefits, but is also a relatively arbitrary decision.
“There’s no science behind this because this is not something that presents enough of a health risk to the healthy population compared to the other food-borne bacteria,” she said, adding that one is at far greater risk of Vibrio infection from an open wound in the marine environment than from eating oysters.
“It would be like we’re not going to worry about AIDS, but find some very benign disease that hardly affects anybody and we’re going to put all of our efforts and all of our energy into preventing that. And we’re going to put a major industry out of business, by the way.”
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