SHAHEEN DENOUNCES ROLL-OUT OF HARMFUL CATFISH INSPECTION REGULATIONS THAT THREATEN NEW HAMPSHIRE JOBS

**CALLS NEW OBAMA ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AN APPEASEMENT OF SPECIAL INTERESTS AND A WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS**

November 25, 2015

(Washington, DC)—This afternoon, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) denounced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to implement new harmful regulations on seafood businesses by setting up a new, separate catfish inspection program.  The USDA catfish inspection program will duplicate existing U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations on seafood, burdening many American businesses with overlapping sets of regulations from two separate federal agencies.

“I am extremely disappointed with the Obama Administration’s decision to implement these unnecessary and harmful regulations,” said Shaheen. “This decision to appease a small special interest group puts at risk hundreds of jobs in New Hampshire. These regulations have nothing to do with food safety and are an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars. I am committed to repealing this inspection program on behalf of Granite State seafood businesses and the American taxpayer.”

USDA has warned that the program may cost as much as $15 million a year to operate and has already cost $20 million to set up, without having inspected a single catfish.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office, which evaluates risk for wasteful spending, has recommended eliminating the program in nine separate reports, calling it “duplicative” and “high-risk” for waste, fraud, and abuse.  Additionally, the program creates an illegal trade barrier that makes the U.S. economy vulnerable to costly WTO-sanctioned trade retaliation.

Senator Shaheen has long fought to eliminate this program.  She wrote an op-ed, “End the Catfish-Inspection Boondoggle,” which was published in Roll Call newspaper earlier this year.