Agriculture: Catfish Inspection
Year Identified: 2013
Area Number: 1
Area Type: Fragmentation, Overlap & Duplication
◐- Partially Addressed
○- Not Addressed
◉- Consolidated or Other
⊘- Closed-Partially Addressed
⊗- Closed-Not Addressed
Last Updated:March 6, 2014
Congress should consider repealing provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill assigning the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsibility for examining and inspecting catfish and for creating a catfish inspection program.
On February 7, 2014, the President signed into law the 2014 Farm Bill, which does not repeal the USDA catfish inspection program. Instead, it modifies provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill to, among other things, require USDA to coordinate with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to execute a memorandum of understanding that would, among other things, ensure that inspections of catfish conducted by USDA and FDA are not duplicative. GAO maintains that such a memorandum does not address the fundamental problem, which is that USDA’s catfish program, if implemented, would result in duplication of activities and an inefficient use of taxpayer funds. Duplication would result if facilities that process both catfish and other seafood were inspected by both USDA and FDA. In addition, USDA estimated that implementation of its catfish inspection program would cost the federal government and industry an additional $14 million annually. FDA estimated that its annual cost for inspecting catfish-processing facilities was about $700,000. Without congressional action to repeal the provision of the 2008 Farm Bill assigning USDA responsibility for examining and inspecting catfish, USDA’s catfish inspection program, when fully implemented, would duplicate FDA’s existing seafood inspection program.