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   Catfish Farmers: USDA Delay Harmful
by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press
Posted: Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 10:51AM EST

In a case of something written into the 2008 farm bill that’s yet to be enacted, U.S. catfish producers are pointing at the USDA’s failure to inspect seafood imports.

Currently, the USDA takes on the inspection of meat and poultry imported into the United States. However, it does not inspect imported seafood, leaving that to the Food and Drug Administration.

The USDA is shirking its responsibility, say critics. That’s because, behind a strong push by U.S. aquaculture interests during the farm bill debate, Congress shifted regulation of catfish products from the FDA to the USDA.

To the chagrin of U.S. catfish producers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — despite claims that food safety is among his top priorities — has failed to place all catfish products under USDA jurisdiction.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Delta Farm Press


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