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Capitol Health Call |

Bad Oysters

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2011;306(22):2443. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1765.
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Gulf Coast states will have difficulty moving forward to significantly reduce the number of illnesses caused by consumption of raw oysters because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a group responsible for developing and publishing shellfish safety guidelines disagree on ways to do so, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released October 11. The group, the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC), represents state agencies, the FDA and other federal agencies, the shellfish industry, and the academic community. At issue is Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium commonly found in oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico. Most healthy people do not become ill from V vulnificus, but individuals with compromised immune systems are at risk of developing septicemia.

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Disagreements between oversight groups are hampering efforts to reduce illness from raw oysters harboring Vibrio vulnificus, reported the Government Accountability Office.

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