WASHINGTON — The Catfish Farmers of America are applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture for recommending implementation of a law requiring tough new inspections and regulation of all catfish sold in America.
“We are extremely pleased that the USDA has recommended stricter regulation of catfish which will mean greater protection for American consumers,” said Joey Lowery, president of the Catfish Farmers of America, an advocacy group. “This regulation was approved by Congress more than two and one-half years ago and is long overdue.”
The proposed ruling transfers the inspection and regulation of catfish from the FDA to the USDA, which has more stringent inspection and safety programs, according to CFA. The FDA inspects only two percent of all seafood imported into the United States, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The USDA said its recommendation for tougher catfish food safety requirements is based on scientific assessments showing that thousands of food-related illnesses could be prevented each year when the USDA implements the more stringent inspection and regulation of imported and domestic catfish.