Louisiana Restaurant Association Lobbying Against Gulf Oyster Rules

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 30 (UPI) — The Louisiana Restaurant Association has begun lobbying against a proposed federal regulation that would ban the sale of raw oysters in the summer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says requiring oysters harvested between April and October to be sterilized would curb a rare but lethal bacterium. The regulation would take effect in 2011.

The restaurant group’s campaign encourages people from the fishing and restaurant industries and the public at large to put pressure on the Obama administration and Congress, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Friday. Jim Funk, the president of the group, called the proposed change “too extreme.”

Many traditional Louisiana dishes involve cooked oysters, stewed or served in po boy sandwiches. Funk said requiring those oysters to be sterilized is “particularly offensive” to our restaurant establishments.

Louisiana is the largest oyster producer in the country with the majority of its catch shipped out of state.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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