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$20 Million to Inspect Catfish: Zero Catfish Inspected

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the government is doubling up on the ever important Catfish inspection duties by having the USDA inspect catfish at an even greater cost than currently spent by the FDA to do the same thing.

Either way, it seems that the Agriculture Committee found it too important to America to allow us tone limited to only one gigantic bureaucratic monstrosity regulating catfish. Dammit, we gotta keep on top of these things! The fate of our catfish supply is at stake!

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., proposed an amendment to leave catfish inspection with the FDA saying that USDA inspection was duplicative and threatened a trade war. Hartzler noted that the $15 million price tag far surpassed the $700,000 that FDA spends annually on inspection of all fish.

Yes, fifteen times the cost the FDA is currently spending to do the same thing. This is what Republicans and Democrats agreed was too important to slash from their pork riddled Farm Bill. Meanwhile, even the Senate recognized how silly the duplicative spending would be and voted to repeal the USDA Catfish Inspection Office (I can’t believe I had to type those words) giving the House the chance to finalize the savings. But the House just couldn’t pull it off.

Ideally the authority to inspect catfish is supposed to be transferred as opposed to done simultaneously, however, that law has not been fully implemented and as a result both agencies are still on the job.

Well, on the job might be a bit generous given that some reports are now saying that the USDA has spent $20 million tax payer dollars to inspect zero fish and is on track to spend a jaw dropping $150 million over the next ten years.

If you can handle the catfish jokes, this Fox News report covers it better than I could:

My favorite quote?

We should point out both those lawmakers we mentioned on the House Agriculture Committee suggested that Citizens Against Government Waste were way out of line naming them Porkers of the Month.

They were upset about being called porkers after insisting that the USDA duplicate efforts by the FDA at a cost of $150 million over 10 years while thus far performing none of their duties? It’s like the old saying goes: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Give a man the ability to get paid just to look at fish and he’ll spend all of your money.” Or something like that.

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