Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Are raw oysters a bigger threat to health than McDonald's fries?

According to this excellently placed (front-page) story from the T-P, 15 people--many of them already sick from something else--die from eating raw oysters each year.

This occurs in a country with over 300 million people, many of whom are overweight. Tens of thousands of us die each year because we are fat and get fat-related diseases.

The FDA's way of dealing with the oyster "menace," we learn now, will be to require processing of raw oysters 7 months out of the year.

Step back: so what we now know is that the federal government refuses to protect the homeland in Louisiana by doing little to restore wetlands and by trying to implement a flood protection system on the cheap. Now the federal government wants to ruin a key industry in Louisiana and one of life's pleasures here that many of us enjoy.

Fat-related diseases that kill millions of Americans are often caused by foods (made poisonous by bad agriculture and then heavy processing) in areas of the country that are more "American" and more palatable than we "exotics" are in south Louisiana. Midwestern corn, for example, is fine, even though it is used to make products that kill many of us.

All-natural oysters, however, kill 15 people a year, but they must be heavily regulated.

Inadequate levees, disappearing wetlands, and screwed-up oysters. This is what the American federal government is doing for us through a combination of inaction and willful stupidity.

UPDATE: Here's a nice link from Jeffrey. While the feds fret about oysters, the Army Corps' head is waving the white flag.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Even though I'm a vegetarian, this is a stupid article. Americans are very big on focusing on the little things that MIGHT be bad instead of the big things that ARE.

We talked in my class the other day about people freaking out over potential plastic water bottle hazards while not seeming to care that they deliberately eat crap every day.

And we make a big deal about something that "increases" cancer (or other disease) risk. But going from a .00001 probability to a .00002 probability, although "doubled" is not really the same factor as heredity, diet, and exercise.

We'll do anything to feel like we have some control, as long as it doesn't take a lot of effort.

Anonymous said...

This is why I am wearing my white boots to work today.

It should be a form of govt protest for all Louisiana citizens to wear white boots to work as our brethren who really do wear white boots need the support!

saintseester said...

Good point. The warning labels aren't enough? Too much gov't and in the wrong place.

Jennie said...

I agree with you that there are other areas that also need to be addressed, however, what the FDA is doing with oysters NEEDS to be done.

My father died from eating raw oysters. He did not know, nor did we, that he was at risk from eating oysters. People do not fully understand that that the warning labels are referring a great than 50% chance of dying if the vibrio gets into your bloodstream. That is not clearly understood by the general public.

The oyster industry states that there is extensive education. That is just simply not true. People DO NOT know that death is a very real possibility. They even did a study in 2004 and the KNOW that the majority of people do not know that death is a possibility and yet they still have done nothing to make the general public aware.

They say they don't understand why the FDA is stepping in now -- it is because after 11 years of the FDA giving them chance after chance after chance to self-regulate, they still have not done so, therefore the FDA is stepping in as they should. That is their role to protect the public.

I am sorry, but my father died unnecessarily ... he did not have to die. Had the oysters been treated, he would still be alive today. How in the world can anyone justify that to do anything less is justifiable?