Aquaculture for all

Proposed Catfish Regulations Could be Rolled out Across Aquaculture

US - Catfish production, may not be agricultural huge for the economy. However campaigning Catfish Farmers of America, has ensured the Senate has included a provision in a farm bill to help their industry.

A report in Mississippi's Sun Herald says the measure would require catfish to have inspections similar to those for meat and poultry.

The bill has been championed by senators from catfish-producing states such as Arkansas and Mississippi who say the provision would protect consumers from tainted food. Some says it will also encourage them to source home-grown product rather than imports which do not carry this assurance.

However, the regulations may eventually extend beyond catfish as law makers feel that other aquaculture lobbies will clamor for similar benefits. The outcome is now a much broader provision that is now being floated to members of the agriculture committees.

Instead of applying the inspections to catfish alone, the draft would require the Agriculture Department to inspect virtually every kind of fish.

The department opposes the broader measure, which would impose a massive new requirement and increase costs. It says that the Commerce Department already inspects some fish, so why duplicate?

Surprisingly, catfish and consumer groups are not endorsing the House-generated draft. They are concerned that the broader provision would introduce a less-stringent standard for inspection at USDA, which already is receiving heavy criticism for gaps in its meat inspections.

The catfish industry also believe that the draft provision is so large it will sink their entire effort.

View the Sun herald story by clicking here.
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