Groups Urge U.S. House to Nullify Wasteful Catfish Rule

In a coalition letter yesterday, 10 market-oriented groups, including CEI, urged the House leadership to call for a vote on S.J. Res. 28 to nullify the wasteful catfish inspection program rule. The groups noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s catfish inspection program costs $20 million and another $14 million a year.  It duplicates a Food and Drug Administration program that costs only $700,000 per year.

Under the 2008 Farm Bill, the USDA was to inspect catfish even though that agency throughout its history didn’t inspect any other fish. CEI commented at length in 2011 when the USDA rule was first considered and pointed out its numerous shortcomings:

CEI views the USDA’s proposed rule regarding catfish and catfish products as unnecessary as a food safety initiative, duplicative of another agency’s food safety system, protectionist in its approach, arbitrary in carving out one type of fish for USDA supervision, and burdensome to the U.S. taxpayer and consumer.

In the September 22 coalition letter, the groups pointed out that the Senate had already taken action to eliminate this wasteful and duplicative program and urged the House to do the same. “The USDA catfish inspection program is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money at a time when the federal government must tighten its belt.”