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Capitol Health Call
December 14, 2011

Bad Oysters

JAMA. 2011;306(22):2443. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1765

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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