Vitter and Gulf Delegation ask FDA to Step Up
Under the leadership of U.S. Senator David Vitter, a letter has been sent to Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, asking that the FDA step up its efforts to ensure the public understands that Gulf seafood is safe to eat.
The letter was also signed by Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas and Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Vitter is urging the Food and Drug Administration to “publicly and vigorously” declare that Gulf seafood is safe to eat. Outside groups such as the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have recently claimed that Gulf seafood is not safe for consumption, even though all tests have shown that Gulf seafood is safe to eat.
The letter is the second one sent to Commissioner Hamburg by Senator Vitter urging the FDA to take a more public stand on the safety results of their own and other agencies’ testing. The first letter was sent November 4 and there was no response from Hamburg.
Gulf Delegation Seafood Letter- Dec 1 2011 FDAAccording to Vitter’s letter, “Sound science must prevail to protect American jobs and to help reinvigorate this important industry. We ask that you please help us by more actively promoting the safety of our seafood and refuting unscientific claims which assert otherwise.”
Ewell Smith, Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, said consumer confidence in the quality of Gulf seafood is critical. “It is vitally important that the FDA and other federal agencies involved in the testing of Gulf seafood continue to educate consumers at the national level regarding ongoing testing and the results of those tests, which show that our seafood is safe,” he said.
The letters are being sent at a time when the state is still recovering from the devastating economic effects of the BP oil spill. The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board is about to begin a consumer marketing campaign that will depend upon consumers’ understanding that Gulf seafood is safe to eat.