Government Accountability Office Calls USDA Catfish Program a Waste for 10th Time

Duplicative Program Targeted for a Record 10th Time

 April 27, 2016 Washington, DC – The USDA’s catfish inspection program wastes millions of taxpayer dollars and does a job already being done by the FDA, according to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). For the tenth time in five years the GAO has included the program in its rogue’s gallery of wasteful federal boondoggles.

The GAO pulls no punches when it suggests, “Congress should consider repealing provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill assigning the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsibility for examining and inspecting catfish and for creating a catfish inspection program.” (p.26)

For years the program has been lambasted for its waste:

  • “If there were legitimate food safety reasons for having USDA inspect catfish, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.” – John McCain (R-AZ)
  • “Congress needs to eliminate this new regulation immediately because taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for more bloated bureaucracy.”—Taxpayers Protection Alliance
  • “It serves no public interest, it’s costly for taxpayers, it’s duplicative …” – John Kerry (6/12)

The USDA Catfish Inspection program has a virtual army opposed to it, including a bipartisan cadre in the House and Senate. There is also a who’s who in the world of public health, public policy, economics, trade and regulation calling for the repeal of a program that does not improve food safety but does waste American tax dollars.

“With this being the tenth occasion the GAO has featured USDA catfish inspection, we can find no other single federal program that has been targeted as many times,” said NFI’s Communications Manager Lynsee Fowler.

Contact: Gavin Gibbons (703) 752-8891