Friday, November 13, 2009

Shellfish Community Applauds U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Dropping Ban on Traditional Raw Oysters

We did it!! Thank you all for your help in making this happen!

November 13th, Apalachicola, FL:  The Gulf Coast oyster community applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for abandoning a unilateral plan to ban the sale of traditional, raw oysters. Oyster dealers, workers, food lovers and community leaders throughout the Gulf Coast region and the nation joined forces in a massive grass-roots effort to oppose the FDA plan over the last two weeks. Mike Voisin, a founding member of the Gulf Oyster Industry Council whose family has harvested oysters off Louisiana for seven generations, welcomed the FDA announcement as a first step.

    “We’re glad to see that the FDA has stopped its unilateral action,” Voisin said. “But traditional, raw
Gulf Coast oysters must be available to consumers under any future plan. We support new technologies, but the oyster just as Mother Nature made it must always have a place at the table.”

    “If the FDA returns to working within the established process of the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference, we welcome that. But the agency should not suggest that post-harvest processing is the only way forward. We also remind FDA that a full economic analysis of the impact on jobs is required, not just a study of post-harvest processing. We look forward to working with them on such studies.”

“We’re committed to further improving the safety of our already safe product, through existing plans
for better refrigeration, and through new technologies,” Voisin said. The Gulf Oyster Community thanks the thousands of people from all walks of life who supported thesimple right to eat traditional, raw oysters; politicians in all the Gulf states who pushed back againstFDA; and shellfish lovers nationwide. Special thanks go to our Senators and Congressmen who ledefforts on Capitol Hill.

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