U.S. catfish farmers are begging for relief to enforce a law approved by Congress more than two years ago.
Why are our farmers having to get on their knees to ask for enforcement of USDA inspections and regulation of all catfish sold in America?
Recently, aquaculture experts from around the country highlighted food safety concerns in urging the government to take action on the law.
The law transfers the inspection and regulation of catfish from the FDA to the USDA, which has more stringent inspection and safety programs. Congress took the action after the Government Accountability Office reported that the FDA inspects only two percent of all seafood imported into the United States.
The problem is these folks just are not thoughtful enough to see the entire picture.
The domestic catfish industry, which is struggling against the cheaper imports, says better inspections are necessary to ensure safety.
There have been growing concerns over the last couple of years about catfish imported from China, Vietnam and Cambodia. The poor water quality where catfish are grown prompts growers in those countries to use antibiotics in production, but some of those drugs are not approved for use in the United States.
Growers in the United States follow stricter standards than catfish producers in Asia, and U.S. consumers should know what they’re getting when they eat catfish at a restaurant. Grocery stores already are required to label catfish products with country of origin, and we believe that no less should be expected of Mississippi restaurants.
Mississippi catfish growers have taken a huge financial hit from the import of catfish products, according to statistics from U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Maybe it’s time to ask House Democrat Bennie Thompson to step in Mississippi’s Second Congressional District to explain to them just how important the catfish industry is to the well being of so many here in the Magnolia State.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.
Click for more info