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The Federal Government’s Catfish Scam

The federal government has spent $20 million over the last five years on dueling catfish inspection offices – but between them the agencies haven’t inspected a single fish. Even worse, the entire effort is nothing but a special interest sop to a wealthy Mississippi catfish producer – a taxpayer-funded bailout…

The federal government has spent $20 million over the last five years on dueling catfish inspection offices – but between them the agencies haven’t inspected a single fish. Even worse, the entire effort is nothing but a special interest sop to a wealthy Mississippi catfish producer – a taxpayer-funded bailout secured by a “Republican” U.S. Senator from the Magnolia State.

These and other revelations are the focus of an ABC News exclusive report which delves into the costly politics behind the federal government’s expanded “catfish monitoring” programs.

“This was essentially a lobby that said ‘what can we do to help protect the domestic catfish business,'” a former government official told ABC’s David Kerley.

In other words there was no compelling public health reason for ramping up catfish inspection – it was simply an effort to manipulate the marketplace (via new import restrictions) on behalf of a handful of larger processors like Mississippi catfish king Dean Stephens

For his part, Stephens admits the whole scam was nothing but a “marketing” effort.

“We felt like we needed to do something to improve our marketing in the catfish industry,” Stephens told ABC of his successful effort to get the legislation approved.

Really? Really?

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (RINO-Mississippi) inserted funding into an omnibus farm bill for the catfish program and just like that catfish became a public health hazard in need of government monitoring.

Again, though, this has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with delivering a competitive advantage to a narrow special interest – at the expense of taxpayers and consumers who will now face fewer choices and higher prices.

Insane …

This is why America is dying people: Multiple bureaucracies spending millions of dollars to artificially inflate prices. All while lying to the people they are ripping off.

UPDATE: Here’s a website devoted to overturning this scam …

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6 comments

Johnny August 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Blame Obama & the democrats. Let’s see, for not overseeing the RINOs.

Reply
Nölff August 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Off the subject just a little, but have you ever been to the Catfish Feastival in Ware Shoals? It’s a real treat.

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein August 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm

“Friends don’t let friends eat imported shrimp catfish.”

Reply
Mr. Whiskers August 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

If you don’t like it go “grapple” your own damn catfish and stop whining. If nobody buys farm-raised catfish, Tilapia and the others then there is no opportunity for the screwing – get it? Every free market idea is in itself the creation of an opportunity for lazy people to get taken advantage of buy the ones that they elect.

Another way to look at it is we prioritize our time. Sure, I can catch a catfish and run a trotline but if I can apply my skill and make $50 per hour then I am willing to overpay for some catfish that might take me several hours to gather.

In the event that you feel that I have missed your point I suggest that you forget about the catfish and focus on what the insurance industry has been able to pull on the citizens of South Carolina with the propped up jobs of so many of our legislators and the harmful rate robberies that have occurred through those operators. You could run this site non-stop for the next thirty years and never cover it all.

There.

Reply
EJB August 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm

This is “rent seeking” and this is the type of “regulation” I talk about reducing when I make the comments about reducing government regulation. I don’t want dirty water, poison air or unsafe products that kill people but there are boat loads of these kinds of regulations in every bureaucracy in the Federal and State governments that affect every facet of the “free” market. Get rid of this garbage. I downloaded a book from the Cato web site, no charge and it explains a lot of this kind of stuff.

Government Failure by Tullock, Seldon and Brady, a free download from Cato Institute

Reply
Centrist View August 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Office of Catfish Inspection Programs (OCIP) charter
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/informational/aboutfsis/structure-and-organization/!ut/p/a0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOINAg3MDC2dDbz8LQ3dDDz9wgL9vZ2dDdz9TfQLsh0VAfb5Y5I!/?1dmy&current=true&urile=wcm%3Apath%3A%2Ffsis-content%2Ffsis-questionable-content%2Focip%2Fct_index9

“The Office of Catfish Inspection Programs (OCIP) develops policies to implement the new requirement for USDA inspection of farm-raised catfish.”

(Your child can aspire to be the Director of Catfish Inspections)

OCIP Contact Information:
Dr. Quita Bowman Blackwell
Director
Catfish Inspection Staff
Food Safety and Inspection Service
United States Department of Agriculture
catfish@fsis.usda.gov

Catfish Inspection Slide Show
http://www.afdo.org/Resources/Documents/4-news-and-events/past-presentations/0906091550Schroeder.pdf

Catfish Inspections a Waste of Your Tax Dollars?
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/beyond-the-headline-abc-news/catfish-inspections-waste-tax-dollars-141406723.html?vp=1
[Excerpt]
So far, the USDA hasn’t inspected a single fish. Though they have used some of that money to order some really nice pens that proclaim “Office of Catfish Inspection Programs.”

Reply

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