Melancon: Proposed oyster ban like 'swatting a fly with a sledgehammer'
HOUMA -- Congressman Charlie Melancon today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reverse a proposed ban on the sale of untreated raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico during the summer months.
The ban, which would begin in 2011, would severely impact Louisiana’s oyster and restaurant industries, major sectors of the state’s economy, the Naploenville Democrat contends.
“This restriction on Gulf oysters, proposed in the name of food safety, is like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer,” Melancon said in a news release. “We all want safer food for our families, but Americans have been enjoying fresh, Louisiana-produced oysters for hundreds of years. They are not only a Louisiana delicacy, they are part of our heritage and our way of life. This new policy will strike a blow to the heart of Louisiana culture, costing our state jobs and hurting a unique industry, and I urge the FDA to reverse the ban.”
Melancon sent a letter today to the FDA’s deputy director for food safety, Donald W. Kraemer, requesting that he meet with Louisiana oyster-industry representatives to discuss the proposal.