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#SubHealth Reeling in Government Waste in Catfish Inspection Program


WASHINGTON, DC – The Health Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), today held a hearing examining the waste and duplication in the USDA’s Catfish Inspection Program. The FDA is already responsible for overseeing the safety and inspection of seafood.

“What is it about catfish? Interestingly enough – nothing! Catfish is an extremely low risk food product,” stated Chairman Pitts. “Explicitly creating a program exclusively for catfish is unnecessary and directs resources away from high risk foods to focus on a food that is one of the safest.”

Kimberly Gorton, President and CEO of Slade Gorton & Co., Inc, stated, “As someone with decades of first-hand experience in the American seafood industry, I can honestly say that both the regulator and the regulated industry are doing a better job than ever before.” Gorton also shared the story of their third-generation family business, adding, “The USDA program is a complete waste of tax dollars. Our government is already squeezing job-creating small businesses, and this program is a needless, costly and duplicative regulation that burdens my company and all other seafood companies.”

Justin Conrad, President of Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants, Inc. testified saying, “The Government Accountability Office has 10 times called the USDA program a waste of tax dollars and at high risk for abuse. GAO even put out a report stating catfish regulation should not be assigned to USDA.”

Today’s hearing, the last for #SubHealth this Congress, was also the last for Chairman Pitts.

#SubHealth committee members applaud Chairman Pitts’ leadership and work.

“Joe Pitts has been a leader for some of the committee’s greatest accomplishments: reforming how Medicare pays America’s physicians, improving the safety of our nation’s drug supply chain, advancing dozens of bills to improve our nation’s public health, and helping shepherd through the 21st Century Cures Act that will land shortly on President Obama’s desk,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “I wish nothing but the best to you and Ginny in this next chapter.”

For more information on today’s hearing including a background memo, witness testimony, and an archived webcast click here.


Health (114th Congress)
Press Release