has been more concerned about their seafood business and keeping dollars flowing from this
[California] market, one of their largest. They are more concerned with dollars than
public health and safety."
California industry member
The FDA has allowed the ISSC to establish what amounts to an industry
"vetting" process for all proposed changes to shellfish-safety standards. That
is, industry generally has the same voting power as state regulators on ISSC committees
and task forces. In fact, the shellfish industry has far more votes than the FDA in the
ISSC. To win acceptance of a proposal, the submitters (including the FDA) must gain the
support of at least some members of the shellfish industry. Furthermore, industry
representatives can, with just a modicum of support from state regulators, kill a proposal
or amend it in ways that the original submitter opposes, even if that submitter is the
FDA. Thus, the shellfish industry can negotiate with the FDA on the regulations governing
its conduct. And, the industrys hand is further strengthened because the FDA wants to
maintain good relations with the industry since both are "repeat players" in the
Economics, not public health, is the driving force for the ISSC.