by Audubon Society, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Jackson, Miss. — Reports of food recalls and the recent U.S. ban on some seafood imports from China have cast a spotlight on the importance of food safety. Knowing where foods come from, as well as how they are produced, is critical for the safety of Canadians.
U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish passes all the tests with flying colors when it comes to safety, and it is one of the safest protein sources available to Canadians. It is grown in inland, self-contained ponds, which are primarily fed by clean, underground aquifers. The fish are top-fed on a diet of floating grain pellets.
U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is one of the most regulated seafood/fisheries organizations in the world. It is regulated by local, state and federal agencies including: the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC); U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, all catfish processing plants operate under the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point inspection program (HACCP).
“When it comes to food safety, there’s no such thing as too much regulation,” says Roger Barlow, president of The Catfish Institute. “We are very proud of our industry for its leadership role in producing one of the most sustainable and cleanly-raised fish on the market. And the long list of stringent controls we adhere to in our industry ensures that Canadians can feel very good about buying U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish.”
As a result of this industry’s environmental stewardship and best management practices, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is endorsed by major environmental groups concerned with fishery resources and the seafood industry. Some of these organizations include the Audubon Society, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, the World Wildlife Fund, Sustainable Fisheries Advocates, the National Audubon Society and the Canadian Endangered Fish Alliance.
Canadians need large-scale viable sources of fish from sustainable, non-polluting sources. Over-fishing has already taken a serious toll and the United Nations reports that over 75 per cent of the world’s fish species are over-exploited or depleted. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is one of the most eco-friendly protein sources available.
“Catfish eat soybean and wheat pellets, reducing the demand on ocean fish used in fish feed. Catfish farmers raise their fish in closed freshwater ponds,” says the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. “By carefully controlling the ponds’ water quality, these farms can put catfish in the frying pan while protecting the environment.”
Health Check approved
U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish was the first fresh fish to carry the Health Check seal from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The program is based on Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating and is intended to help consumers make wise food choices, including U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish as part of their regular diets. In order to receive the seal, foods must first meet specific nutrient criteria and conform to the Health Check program’s standards.
About The Catfish Institute
The Catfish Institute (TCI) was founded by a group of catfish farmers and feed manufacturers in 1986 to promote “Genuine U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish.”