Accurate labeling of catfish and catfish-like species is required by law. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act defines “catfish” for marketing purposes as members of the taxonomic family ictaluridae, commonly known as channel catfish. Asian fish such as basa, tra, swai and pangasius, on the other hand, are members of the taxonomic family pangasiidae. It is illegal to label them as “catfish” under federal law.
Sixteen percent of land tested in China is unsafe for use in agriculture due to industrial pollutants, including arsenic and radioactive cadmium, according to a Chinese study recently released. As a result, an area the size of Belgium cannot be used to grow crops.
The food safety group Food and Water Watch says U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is a “smart” seafood choice because U.S. catfish farms are regulated much more stringently than in other countries and are hormone-free and, under normal growing conditions, antibiotic free. “Catfish growers practice alternative methods of disease treatment to avoid the use of antibiotics.”
The annual trade show brought together a global audience of more than 20,000 seafood buyers — the largest event of its kind in North America.
Last year, online food ordering company GrubHub surveyed orders during the Lenten season and found that seafood dishes rose as much as 15 percent during Lent. Both catfish and snapper orders bumped up by 15 percent, followed by lobster and whiting at 13 percent. Other fish such as salmon and cod saw single-digit boosts, while crab orders dropped off by 8 percent during Lent.
The Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights barred imports of Vietnamese pangasius on January 31 until further notice. Russian inspectors in December found unacceptable levels of antibiotics and hormones. The Russian government also found E. coli and listeria in fish products from almost half of the Vietnamese exporting farms, which included 16 out of 35 facilities, according to the Itar-Tass news service.
The Catfish Institute and Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) applaud House and Senate lawmakers for reaching agreement on a new five-year farm bill that reauthorizes the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) catfish inspection program and creates a crop insurance program for catfish. The new bill was signed into law by President Obama on February 7.