America’s Catfish Farmers Harmed by Unfair Dumping of Vietnamese Fish, U.S. Finds

September 25, 2013 –The U.S. Department of Commerce has determined that fish producers in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have been unfairly selling the catfish-like species pangasius (basa, tra and swai) in the United States at prices below true market value. This “dumping” of fish, often sold in restaurants as catfish, has seriously harmed the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Industry. Americans eat more than 70 percent of catfish they consume in restaurants. The decision to levy a fair anti-dumping duty on Vietnamese pangasius will give some relief to America’s catfish farmers who have been harmed by years of unfairly priced and low quality foreign imports. Such imports are often tainted with drugs and chemicals banned for use in food within the United States. Alarmingly, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found there is a lack of federal inspections of imported seafood products. ”This decision is a step in the right direction, but the Commerce Department must continue to enforce our trade laws in future decisions,” said Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “Now it’s time for the administration to take responsible actions on an inspection program that will ensure the quality of fish imports, particularly for imports marketed as catfish.”

U.S. Catfish Industry Reminds Consumers Its Products Are Growth Hormone Free, Says Imported Catfish Is A Concern

August 16, 2013 — Following news that leading American food producers and processors will no longer purchase meat treated with controversial hormones, the nation’s largest aquaculture industry, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, reminded American consumers that its products have always been free of growth hormones. ”U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish producers have never used growth hormones or any of the harmful and illegal drugs and antibiotics frequently used in foreign imported products,” said Ben Pentecost, Mississippi catfish farmer and President of Catfish Farmers of America (CFA). “The purity of our catfish and the safety of consumers have always been our primary concerns.” CFA said consumers should be alerted to the dangers of imported catfish and catfish-like species, citing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to find banned and potentially dangerous drugs and biotoxins in imported products. ”Due to the FDA’s weak inspection program, 98 percent of imported seafood is being sold directly to American families with no inspection, and less than one percent is actually being tested for contaminants,” said Pentecost. “U.S. catfish farmers will continue to provide a healthy, safe and nutritious food product, and we encourage American consumers to look for the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish label when dining out or purchasing groceries.”

Catfish

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