Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on today’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued final rules establishing a duplicative catfish inspection program:

“Today, the Obama Administration added to its list of big-government ‘accomplishments’ the creation of a brand new government agency: the USDA Catfish Inspection Office. The establishment of this office comes despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already performs seafood inspections‎ and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued more than six reports calling the USDA program ‘wasteful and duplicative.’ As a result of this protectionist program, an estimated $15 million per year will be spent on enabling government bureaucrats to impose barriers on foreign catfish importers, which will in turn increase the price of catfish for American consumers, restaurants, and seafood processors.

“The GAO, the FDA, and the UDSA have all said that there is no legitimate food safety problem with catfish imports. The agency's true purpose is to benefit a handful of special-interest domestic catfish farmers in southern states who will enjoy full access to the catfish market while foreign suppliers are kept out by red tape.

“The USDA Catfish Inspection Office is an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars and a classic example of anti-free market protectionism. Unfortunately, this is not the last we'll hear of this reckless program, as experts have warned it will spur trade retaliation by Asia-Pacific nations on other sectors of American agriculture.”