U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the Senate's approval of the McCain-Kerry amendment (#2199) repealing the USDA Catfish Inspection Office:
"The Senate made the right decision to eliminate the proposed USDA Catfish Inspection Office. The FDA already inspects catfish, which is why the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) called the USDA program "wasteful and duplicative' and recommended that Congress repeal it. The proposed catfish inspection office offered no food safety benefit -- its actual goal was to erect protectionist regulatory hurdles on catfish imports, forcing American consumers to pay more for their catfish. I am proud that the Senate acted in the best interest of the American taxpayer, taking this small but important step to clean up the traditionally pork-laden Farm bill."
The McCain amendment repealed a provision buried inside the 2008 Farm Bill that transferred catfish inspections from FDA to USDA. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the proposed catfish office would have cost taxpayers about $30 million to create, and about $14 million each year to operate.