This testimony is a status update on the Food Safety and Inspection Service's catfish inspection program and summarizes our work on its potential duplication, overlap, and fragmentation.
To address statutory requirements, FSIS has:
Coordinated with the Food and Drug Administration's seafood safety program to reduce duplication.
Issued the program's final regulation and reduced its annual cost estimate from ~$14 million to ~$2.6 million.
Assumed responsibility for inspecting domestic catfish facilities and screening catfish imports.
We are continuing to examine the FDA and FSIS programs to identify any opportunities to strengthen them.
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What GAO Found
Why GAO Did This Study
The volume of seafood imported to the United States has increased. In 2009, 80 percent of the seafood in the U.S. food supply was imported, but by 2015, more than 90 percent was imported. Catfish accounted for about 4 percent of all seafood imports. Since 2007, federal oversight of food safety has been on GAO’s list of high-risk areas, largely because of fragmentation that has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources.