Fake Food Safety Scare

Switching Seafood Regulation to USDA Has Never Been About Food Safety

The domestic catfish lobby made a conscious choice to frame its argument, in pushing for USDA regulation, as a food safety issue. Their puppets on Capitol Hill eagerly repeated their claims but no sovereign experts in the work of actual food safety agreed with them then or now. Additional efforts to grow the program to other products would, as was warned by independent experts before, once again weaken food safety systems through duplication and dilution.

oddsofthingshap_2218534.png“[USDA] has not established a case for additional regulation. On the contrary, the risk assessment and benefit-cost analysis demonstrate that there is no need for additional regulation of catfish…”
Richard Williams, Director of policy research at the Mercatus Center

“…the agency’s proposed catfish inspection program further fragments the federal oversight system for food safety without demonstrating that there is a problem with catfish or a need for a new federal program.” 
Government Accountability Office


“The risk assessors had virtually no documented evidence of a pathogen-related problem associated with catfish on which to base their risk analysis.”
Joint Submission to USDA

“No one was concerned about the safety of catfish until Southern catfish interests determined the USDA regulatory system would effectively block its imported competition at the border. This restriction is based on regulatory differences between USDA and FDA that does not make the product safer, just more difficult to import.”
–Dr. David Acheson in Forbes