Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Troubling times in NJ oyster restoration effort

It appears that the State of New Jersey has thrown a monkey wrench into the ongoing oyster restoration effort of the NJ Baykeepers group. This organization has been active for several years with numerous initiatives and MOP has drawn on their expertise.

The State of NJ has ordered them to remove their oysters from Raritan Bay. The State is saying that the FDA views this as a threat to the oyster industry as illegally harvested oysters from polluted waters could get in the food chain.

We view this as sad and unfortunate. Doesn't NJ license all oyster harvesters? And don't restaurants purchase their oysters from reputable dealers? There are all kinds of things that can be pulled out of the ocean's polluted waters that should not be eaten. In Massachusetts we have steamer clams in polluted Marshes. Are unsafe ones winding up in the food system? No because our State's Division of Marine Fisheries has posted areas, supervises the industry, and has a plant to detoxify steamer clams that are harvested from questionable waters. Doesn't it seem odd that the FDA is focusing on this when last year hundreds of people were sick from toxic peanut butter?

Fortunately, New York does not appear to be following New Jersey's path. To learn more, you can read the article in the New York Times below.

New York Times Restoration Article

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