WASHINGTON - Seldom do U.S. businesses seek — even lobby for – more government regulation of their industries. But American catfish farmers see federal regulation as the only thing between their livelihoods and financial ruin.
Seafood consumers and the law-abiding fishermen who catch that seafood gained a big victory last week when a complex NOAA Office of Law Enforcement investigation into conspiracy, misbranding and smuggling resulted in two guilty pleas in federal court.
Investigation reveals substances that could cause serious health issues. When you think of tainted seafood, you may think of the Gulf oil spill. But 80 percent of the fish and shrimp Americans eat actually comes from overseas — and a TODAY investigation that aired Tuesday found that some of that seafood may contain toxic chemicals that can cause serious health problems.
The Obama Administration should stop dragging its feet and publish the proposed catfish inspection regulations immediately so that U.S. consumers are protected.
In another act of the ongoing catfish regulatory drama, the advocacy group Food and Water Watch sent a letter yesterday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius recommending they work together to get catfish inspections rolling as soon as possible.
U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today indicated that he wants the Obama Administration’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service to support implementation of a federal law to begin inspections of catfish.
U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., today said in light of recent food safety incidents, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) duty to maintain the safety of our nation’s food supply is more critical than ever.