I feel so much better about the safety of my catfish now. And have a better understanding of non-tariff trade barriers.
According to the New York Times, After years of delay, the Agriculture Department on Wednesday established tough new rules to inspect imported catfish, yielding to pressure from domestic catfish producers that risks retaliation from America’s trade partners.
The rules come seven years after lawmakers from the South, at the request of catfish farmers in states like Mississippi and Arkansas, helped secure legislation in the 2008 farm law that moved inspections of catfish from the Food and Drug Administration to a more rigorous program at a new office within the Agriculture Department. Domestic producers of catfish called it a safety measure, but opponents said the new inspection program was a veiled trade barrier intended to limit imports.
“The point of this process has been to ensure that the farm-raised catfish served to American families is safe and nutritious. The U.S.D.A. is in the best position to get this done,” said Senator Thad Cochran, Republican of Mississippi, who pressed to have the inspections moved.