May 6, 2014

Farm Bill Dumps $30 Million on Nonexistent Catfish Threat

Richard A. Williams

Senior Affiliated Scholar
Summary

Buried in this year’s farm bill, the Office of Catfish Inspection has been equipped to do battle. Somewhere, deep in the heart of the old U.S. Department of Agriculture building, there is a wizened warrior fighting the good fight against the mighty catfish threat. Perhaps it is a lifelong bureaucrat, or maybe a young, ambitious federal employee who saw heading up the Office of Catfish Inspection as a stepping stone toward the coveted Senior Executive Service.

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Buried in this year’s farm bill, the Office of Catfish Inspection has been equipped to do battle. Somewhere, deep in the heart of the old U.S. Department of Agriculture building, there is a wizened warrior fighting the good fight against the mighty catfish threat. Perhaps it is a lifelong bureaucrat, or maybe a young, ambitious federal employee who saw heading up the Office of Catfish Inspection as a stepping stone toward the coveted Senior Executive Service.

Mostly gone are the critics who pointed out that there has not been a problem with salmonella in catfish for nearly a quarter of a century, not to mention the regulations that already govern the safety of all seafood. But the farm bill is passed, and like so much of government spending, the merits of the expenditure matter not at all.

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