‘Catfish’ amendment survives U.S. Senate vote


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 19, 2012

An amendment that would revoke the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) catfish inspection program has been passed on a voice vote by the U.S. Senate.

Attached to the 2012 Farm Bill on 7 June and sponsored by U.S. Sens. John McCain and John Kerry, the amendment would negate a measure transferring regulation of catfish from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the USDA. The USDA catfish inspection program was signed into law as part of the 2008 Farm Bill but is still in the process of being implemented.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday is scheduled to continue voting on 73 amendments to the 2012 Farm Bill, which is expected to pass later this week. The House has yet to write its own Farm Bill.

The National Fisheries Institute lauded the amendment in a statement on Tuesday: “Common sense has prevailed in the Senate. The voice vote passage of the amendment illustrates the Senate’s strong desire to fix this problem. The House now has the chance to show its chops by doing away with a program that is universally opposed by budget conscious legislators, leaders interested in promoting American farm exports, and members of Congress committed to reducing duplicative regulations on U.S. businesses.”

Both McCain and Kerry took to the Senate floor last Thursday to pick apart the USDA catfish inspection program.

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