A Fishing forum. FishingBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » FishingBanter forum » alt.fishing & alt.flyfishing newsgroups » Catfish Fishing
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

$20M Wasted? Two U.S. Agencies Tasked With Inspecting Catfish

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old August 27th, 2013, 05:05 PM posted to alt.fishing.catfish
Garrison Hilliard
external usenet poster
Posts: 63
Default $20M Wasted? Two U.S. Agencies Tasked With Inspecting Catfish

Dick Stevens is a catfish legend in Mississippi.
President and CEO of Consolidate Catfish, Stevens owns one of the
biggest catfish processors in the U.S. — in one day, he handles
400,000 pounds of fish.
He is also one of the driving forces for getting the U.S. Department
of Agriculture to inspect catfish grown in the U.S. and imported.
Critics call that a huge waste of millions of American tax dollars
because that means two agencies are charged with inspecting catfish —
the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration.

While the USDA inspects meat, seafood inspections have been conducted
by the FDA.

Weigh in on this story on Diane Sawyer’s Facebook page.
Though Stevens told ABC News he didn’t want two U.S. agencies looking
at the same food, there have been concerns in the past about whether
the inspection of imported fish has been adequate.
“We would say this is a food-safety concern,” Stevens said.
“We felt like we needed to do something to improve our marketing in
the catfish industry. We felt like consumer confidence has been shaken
a little bit, with some of the products that were adulterated,”
Stevens said. “We felt like our market was going away because people
were worried about the safety of the product.”
Stevens said the industry reached out to the USDA’s Agriculture
Marketing Services, even though the FDA already handled inspections,
which he called “nonexistent.”
“FDA will probably come through here once a year and then it will be
more of a paperwork check,” he said. “Now our particular company is
inspected by the Department of Commerce.”
Yet while the USDA has spent $20 million to plan inspections, it
hasn’t inspected a single fish in five years.
“Twenty million dollars would be a drop in the bucket compared to what
the bureaucrats waste every day,” he said. “But if it brings consumer
confidence and it brings food safety to Americans, then it is well
David Acheson, a top U.S. food-safety expert as well as a former FDA
and USDA official, said there was little to worry about regarding
catfish safety and the FDA should continue to be in charge of
inspecting it.
“A catfish is a catfish is a catfish,” Acheson said. “It’s a safe
food. … We shouldn’t have two agencies inspecting the same fish.”
Acheson said that in 2008, Congress decided that catfish should be the
USDA’s responsibility.
“The reason that was put out there publicly is because Congress deemed
catfish was a high-risk food product. … But it isn’t,” he said. “The
catfish farmers in the South, they’ve taken a hit economically because
of low-cost imports. … We can certainly build an argument that the
reason behind this was essentially a lobby that said what can we do to
help protect the domestic catfish business.”
Acheson said the law requiring two agencies to inspect catfish had
little to do with what ends up on consumers’ plates.
“It certainly isn’t public health,” he said. “It’s about politics.”
The law would make it more expensive for importers to do business.
Importers have already grabbed 25 percent of the market and are the
main competitors of American catfish growers.
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who is responsible for adding the catfish
law written into a farm bill, declined a request for an ABC News
“I can understand the business pressures to try to protect the
industry to try to protect jobs, protect their employees,” Acheson
said. “At the end of the day here, put the energies and the resources
and the efforts where we’ve got risk and this is just not it.”

ABC News’ Daniel Steinberger contributed to this story.

--- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: ---

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Prefish Wasted Bob La Londe Bass Fishing 4 October 9th, 2005 09:30 PM
State Regulatory Agencies Bob La Londe Bass Fishing 0 November 19th, 2004 02:14 PM
A Wasted Afternoon? George Cleveland Fly Fishing 18 August 6th, 2004 02:05 AM
Wasted Nights... Charles B. Summers Bass Fishing 8 February 12th, 2004 02:40 AM

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004-2019 FishingBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.