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Common sense and oysters

November 15, 2009

Re "A ban on some raw oysters from the Gulf Coast? Shucks," Nov. 10, and "Raw feelings over oyster ban," Nov. 11

The two stories about a proposed ban on oysters harvested in the summer reflect an old adage that one should never eat oysters in months that don't have an "r" in them. ("Like Argust" is the punch line.)

This was considered common sense when I was a kid. There's even a reference to it in James Joyce's "Ulysses."

Legislation would not be needed if the possible consequences described at the end of Tuesday's story were widely promulgated -- that "Vibrio blood infections can be almost unfathomably gruesome, resulting in fever, chills, septic shock and blistering lesions."

Perhaps informing us about oysters in summer is a better role for government than simply banning them.

Gil Dawson

Los Angeles

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