Wednesday, October 28

Oyster wars

Is there are middle way between the often conflicting concerns of food systems, safety, and satisfaction?

In the Gulf of Mexico a fight is brewing over their $500 million oyster industry. New guidelines for treating oysters to remove a potentially deadly bacteria are raising the hackles on many small oyster fishers, who claim the new measures are unnecessary, but also so costly that it may run them out of business.

Some 15 people die of bad oysters a year, but some see the whole thing as needless governmental intervention on food production and consumption:

Some oyster sellers say the FDA rule smacks of government meddling. The sales ban would take effect in 2011 for oysters harvested in the Gulf during warm months.

"We have one man who's 97 years old, and he comes in here every week and gets his oyster fix, no matter what month it is," said Mark DeFelice, head chef at Pascal's Manale Restaurant in New Orleans. "There comes a time when we need to be responsible. Government doesn't need to be involved in this."


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