Congressman Steve Scalise made the following statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) announcement that they have recalled their proposed oyster harvest regulations. Instead, they will commission a study on ways to make harvesting oysters safer, technologies that may have not been considered yet, and other options.
"Our entire Congressional Delegation was unified with Louisiana's restaurants and the oyster industry in strong opposition to the FDA's uncalled for proposal to over regulate the oyster industry, and I am pleased they came to their senses and recalled their proposal. The idea of a bureaucrat in Washington dictating how to harvest and prepare oysters was offensive to all Louisianans, and especially to our world-renowned restaurants and chefs."
The proposed regulations would have gone into effect in January 2011. Current estimates indicate that if the FDA's regulations would have gone into effect, their proposed sterilization process could only process 10 percent of the total amount of oysters produced. Louisiana produces one third of the nation's oysters, and the Louisiana oyster industry employs approximately 3,500 people.
No new oyster harvesting regulations or guidelines will be implemented until the completion of the FDA study. A timeline for the study has not been released.