Monday, October 19, 2009

Where Does Your Catfish Come From?

10.16.2009 3:00 pm
Poll: What’s the origin of your catfish?
By Harry Jackson Jr.
Email thisShare this Print this Digg Yahoo! Facebook Reddit Drudge Google Fark Stumble It! The American catfish industry is demanding that the USDA ensure that imported catfish is safe.
This fresh out of Jackson, Miss.: Catfish farmers – a major industry in the Southeast, and growing in Missouri — are demanding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture impose the same rules of safety, freshness and cleanliness on imported catfish.
You mean they don’t already? Apparently not. I didn’t know there was a fight about this. Now, I find out that that earlier this year the Alabama Agriculture found antibiotics that are banned in America, in catfish imported from China. As a result the Alabama Ag Commissioner banned the sale of catfish from China.
Catfish Farmers of America want federal legislation that scrutinizes imported fish as closely as American fish.
Also news, the American Agriculture Department doesn’t inspect imported seafood. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does that, and according to Alabama, not very well. Last year 5.2 billion pounds of seafood were imported into the United States last year, says the catfish farmers organization. Two percent was inspected by the FDA, says the organization. (Of course it’s infinitely more complicated than that.)

Does it matter to you where the catfish you buy comes from?

Yes. I always buy American fish.
No. price matters more than origin.
Not my problem. I only eat catfish in Grafton, Ill., where I watch them catch it out of their back doors.

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