Former USDA & FDA Food Safety Czar Blasts USDA Catfish Program

Dr. David Acheson, is the former Chief Medical Officer at the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and former Chief Medical Officer at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. That means he’s been the Food Safety Czar at both agencies.

His latest column in Forbes: Catfish Regulation — A Perfect Example Of Wasted Resources In The US Government illustrates how real food safety experts feel about the USDA Catfish regulation program. The whole thing is, without question, worth the read. Here are some highlights:

  • -“Proponents of USDA catfish regulation have long insisted the need to switch catfish, and just catfish, from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the Agriculture Department (USDA) is predicated on a public health concern. This narrative is a compelling one but is also nonsense.”
  • -“The USDA have touted the fact that they found shipments of catfish that contain chemical residues since taking over catfish inspection. However, what the USDA fails to point out is that the only reason it found these adulterated shipments was via FDA data.”
  • -“Updated rhetoric in favor of keeping the program in place suggests the USDA’s recent discovery is an example that the program works. The untold truth about such USDA “successes” is that they were based on FDA targeting of suspected shipments. The USDA program has no such intelligence on incoming shipments and relies on FDA lists and logs. It’s not an unequivocal example of USDA’s superiority, it’s evidence of ongoing duplicating and a regulatory pantomime that goes along with it.”