THIBODAUX, La. — Rouses Supermarkets joined the protest when the Food and Drug Administration proposed to ban the sale of raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico during the summer months unless they were treated with anti-bacterial technology. Oystermen said the proposed anti-bacterial technology used on raw oysters would triple the cost of oysters and ruin their taste. Retailers and foodservice operators would lose seafood sales as a consequence, they said. “Rouses is one of the largest users of Gulf Coast oysters, moving 300 to 500 cases of them on a weekly basis,” Rick Heatherington, Rouses' seafood director, told SN, adding that Rouses has tried to sell pasteurized oysters in the past without success. Heatherington's statement of protest presented through Rouses' suppliers and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board, says in part, that the proposed ban “will threaten thousands of jobs, affect the tens of millions of dollars a year to the industry and ruin a heritage and culture that has been present for decades. Louisiana has grown up with and has come to see fresh Gulf Coast oysters as a delicacy and staple food source.” Since its initial proposal, FDA has backed off amid outcries from the oyster industry, as well as Gulf Coast legislators, retailers and restaurateurs. For now, the agency has said the issue will require further study before a ban is implemented.