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Mississippi Enacts Anti-Competitive Catfish Marketing Law
Reason Magazine ^ | July 6, 2013 | Baylen Linnikin

Posted on 07/06/2013 11:28:10 AM PDT by Olog-hai

The Mississippi (Catfish Marketing L)aw, which updates a 2008 law, requires every grocer and restaurant in the state to “provide the consumer with the country of origin and method of production of catfish” and, now, of other catfish-like fish.

While the 2008 law required groceries throughout the state to provide country-of-origin labeling for catfish alone, the new law expands the measure to include all catfish-like fish, which is mostly imported, at every “restaurant, cafeteria, lunch room, food stand, saloon, tavern, bar, lounge or other similar facility operated as an enterprise engaged in the business of selling food to the public.”

The law expands the state’s ability to require “any person that prepares, stores, handles or distributes catfish or fish for retail sale maintain a verifiable record-keeping audit trail.” …

(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: anticompetitive; catfish; govtmicromanaging; regulations
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1 posted on 07/06/2013 11:28:10 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

I am in favor of this. Good to know what you are fixin to eat where it came from.


2 posted on 07/06/2013 11:33:33 AM PDT by eastforker (Cruz for steam in 2016)
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To: Olog-hai

I’ve been paying more attention to fish products...


3 posted on 07/06/2013 11:37:26 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Olog-hai
That's British Scampi. We have reached the point where if we want a type of fish on a sustained basis, we will have to grow it. What has been happening now is, Call it what you want if the public likes it.
4 posted on 07/06/2013 11:38:07 AM PDT by Domangart
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To: eastforker

No, this law is way beyond that.


5 posted on 07/06/2013 11:38:26 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: eastforker
"I am in favor of this. Good to know what you are fixin to eat where it came from."

Agreed.

6 posted on 07/06/2013 11:39:03 AM PDT by icwhatudo (Low taxes and less spending in Sodom and Gomorrah is not my idea of a conservative victory)
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To: icwhatudo

I fish for catfish, (see my profile).I rarely eat catfish in a restaurant, most of it is farm raised or comes from other countries. Give me a good ol river catfish anyday.


7 posted on 07/06/2013 11:44:40 AM PDT by eastforker (Cruz for steam in 2016)
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To: Olog-hai; Revolting cat!
While the 2008 law required groceries throughout the state to provide country-of-origin labeling for catfish alone, the new law expands the measure to include all catfish-like fish

To paraphrase what a chinese waiter said to a friend who asked "what is this that am I eating?"

"Do you like things that taste LIKE catfish...?"

8 posted on 07/06/2013 11:44:53 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: Olog-hai

How you figure?


9 posted on 07/06/2013 11:45:03 AM PDT by eastforker (Cruz for steam in 2016)
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To: eastforker

The required audit trail and the expanded state powers. Always a back door for government control when they claim to be protecting the consumer. Can you afford the paperwork?


10 posted on 07/06/2013 11:47:01 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Can you afford to ingest fish coming from polluted waters?


11 posted on 07/06/2013 11:47:54 AM PDT by eastforker (Cruz for steam in 2016)
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To: eastforker
Why put the onus on the retailers?
12 posted on 07/06/2013 11:50:46 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
It would be nice if one at least knew what species was being sold...

http://oceana.org/en/news-media/publications/reports/oceana-study-reveals-seafood-fraud-nationwide

http://oceana.org/sites/default/files/Map_of_National_Testing_Results_FINAL.pdf

http://oceana.org/sites/default/files/reports/LA_Seafood_Testing_Report_FINAL.pdf

13 posted on 07/06/2013 11:54:44 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Olog-hai

Fish, unlike most mammals absorb and retain any toxins that might be in the water they are caught in. I will not even think about eating fish caught in vietnam , thailand or other countries that have open sewers draining into the water, let alone toxins from industry.


14 posted on 07/06/2013 11:54:46 AM PDT by eastforker (Cruz for steam in 2016)
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To: eastforker

What has that got to do with putting the onus on retailers, never mind expanding state power to bully them unnecessarily? There are other ways to achieve such goals. This is not one of them.


15 posted on 07/06/2013 11:57:58 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: HangnJudge

Why should the retailers be responsible for that? You think they can afford the extra paperwork, never mind the extra taxes that will be necessary for the expanded state powers?


16 posted on 07/06/2013 11:58:55 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: eastforker

Me too. Whenever I’m in a restaurant in Miss/La/Ark, and see on the menu that the fish are “local/state” farmed, I’m always much more apt to order it. It’s like a Good Housekeeping seal. Otherwise I assume it to be some steroid-filled, mutant Chinese product, and I avoid it like the plague.

So I’m not bothered when a state or locality makes such laws. Of course, sometimes laws aren’t even needed. I recall some scuttlebutt about some restaurants in Louisiana which opted to import and serve Chinese crawfish instead of buying from local crawfish farmers/suppliers. Some of those restaurants seemed to mysteriously burn down. Problem solved. No law needed.


17 posted on 07/06/2013 11:59:01 AM PDT by greene66
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To: eastforker
Can you afford to ingest fish coming from polluted waters?

I can think of a few very local waters that
I'd just as soon not get my catfish from....

http://www.tn.gov/twra/fish/contaminants.html

18 posted on 07/06/2013 11:59:23 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: greene66

How many restaurants can afford an audit trail like this law is requiring?


19 posted on 07/06/2013 12:00:16 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Not sure why this writer thinks its “anti-competitive” unless he has some vested interest in China or Viet Nam poop pond raised “catfish like fish” being sold a safe.

I sure want to know the catfish I consume are not from polluted Asian waters AND are actually catfish, not some “catfish like fish”.


20 posted on 07/06/2013 12:00:48 PM PDT by X-spurt (I'm copywriting creepy ass cracker, send royalties to BR549)
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To: Olog-hai
You think they can afford the extra paperwork

I think the law is misguided
It assumes US fish are safe

Just because a catfish is harvested in the US
Does NOT mean it is safe to eat

21 posted on 07/06/2013 12:02:51 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Olog-hai

Without the audit trail requirement, the country-of-origin labeling is meaningless. Retailers (or those earlier in the chain) could just slap a USA label on anything.


22 posted on 07/06/2013 12:07:15 PM PDT by Conscience of a Conservative
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To: WKB; Olog-hai
Mississippi's Catfish Law is intended to keep out foreign catfish.
23 posted on 07/06/2013 12:07:26 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: Olog-hai

You selling much PA catfish in Mississippi?

Very few restaurants serve wild catfish from fishermen like your writer’s “Ellis” in the movie Mud.


24 posted on 07/06/2013 12:07:35 PM PDT by X-spurt (I'm copywriting creepy ass cracker, send royalties to BR549)
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To: Olog-hai
Why should the retailers be responsible for that?

The retailers are often being delivered whole fish
They should know the species by sight

But the product labeling to the consumer is frequently... wrong

This has been reported to be an industry wide problem

25 posted on 07/06/2013 12:07:52 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: a fool in paradise
To paraphrase what a chinese waiter said to a friend who asked "what is this that am I eating?"

"Do you like things that taste LIKE catfish...?"

Was the emphasis on the "cat" or the "fish"?

26 posted on 07/06/2013 12:08:21 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (This message has been recorded but not approved by Obama's StasiNet. Read it at your peril.)
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To: greene66

Consumers should be made aware of where their food comes from and what it actually is.

This guy is raising some false flag with his concern with Mississippi State Regulations on retailers, obviously has some connection with importing the crud.


27 posted on 07/06/2013 12:14:21 PM PDT by X-spurt (I'm copywriting creepy ass cracker, send royalties to BR549)
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To: eastforker

Don’t go to AJ’s? They swear theirs is from Mississippi, even if it is farm raised.


28 posted on 07/06/2013 12:16:35 PM PDT by X-spurt (I'm copywriting creepy ass cracker, send royalties to BR549)
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To: Olog-hai

Good! Seeing as how China has been importing to the hilt in that area.


29 posted on 07/06/2013 12:17:37 PM PDT by TurkeyLurkey
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To: Conscience of a Conservative

That is exactly what has happened to get around “Country of origin” requirements and why Mississippi has been forced to require the paper trail.


30 posted on 07/06/2013 12:20:19 PM PDT by X-spurt (I'm copywriting creepy ass cracker, send royalties to BR549)
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To: X-spurt

So the answer is expansion of government?


31 posted on 07/06/2013 12:26:44 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: greene66
So I’m not bothered when a state or locality makes such laws.

If it's so important to you, couldn't you have spent five minutes researching it on your own?

32 posted on 07/06/2013 12:27:18 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Olog-hai

Answer my questions about your unusual interest in being able to skirt existing laws and import unsafe “catfish like” fish being sold as catfish everywhere.

You import Chinese melamine dog food too?

Yes, sometimes it is necessary for government to step in to protect the citizens.


33 posted on 07/06/2013 12:31:49 PM PDT by X-spurt (I'm copywriting creepy ass cracker, send royalties to BR549)
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To: a fool in paradise

A tourist in China found a large chunk of auto tyre in his soup and when questioned the waiter said the automobile had replaced the horse.


34 posted on 07/06/2013 12:34:50 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Olog-hai

I’m in favor. I haven’t liked the flood of Chinese fish. It’s hard to find good catfish in some areas after the flood from China. Little runt pieces that are more like fish flavored hush puppies. I remember the big flakey fillets I always got as a kid.
I say label it and let the free market decide.
Unless now “free trade” means helping conceal that the food product comes from the dirtiest food producing place on earth.


35 posted on 07/06/2013 12:37:31 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: X-spurt
I’d like to know how any of this will prevent the aforementioned skirting of import laws, since saying so declares that laws sufficiently robust are already in place and need to be enforced. Can restaurants afford the paper audit trail, and is the paper trail necessary? Do the restaurants import directly from the questionable source countries? What controls are being “skirted” at port? Too many missing details. And the law itself contains some interesting language, to say the least.
The commissioner may require that any person that prepares, stores, handles or distributes catfish or fish for retail sale maintain a verifiable record-keeping audit trail that permits the commissioner to verify compliance with this law and any regulations promulgated hereunder.
Suspicion over expansion of government does not mean that one has a vested interest or an ulterior motive. Lauding expansion of government is quite suspect, though.

From the Reason.com article:
Though the law was intended to protect Delta residents like Ellis and his family from foreign competitors, its unintended consequences will likely impose new costs for these same people in the form of greater liability, thousands of dollars in potential fines, and confusing or impossible record-keeping requirements. …
Now is this true? Valid question.
36 posted on 07/06/2013 12:44:30 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

What would you suggest?


37 posted on 07/06/2013 12:44:51 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Olog-hai

What would you suggest?


38 posted on 07/06/2013 12:44:51 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker
The suggestion appears to be leaning towards more enforcement of existing import laws, which ought not entail government expansion. Government micromanaging of retailers might end up putting them out of business.
39 posted on 07/06/2013 12:47:44 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

It’d have to he pretty easy to document the source of the fish,,, if it was Catfish from a southern aqua farm. If its some crapfish cat-impersonator from China, it might be harder.

How about the ability to sue the snot out of someone who sells you ‘catfish” when it is actually some polluted Asian ersatz substitute? I’d be just fine with that.


40 posted on 07/06/2013 12:49:30 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: HangnJudge

“I think the law is misguided
It assumes US fish are safe.
Just because a catfish is harvested in the US
Does NOT mean it is safe to eat”

True, and the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that is the way to bet.

If someone places a plate of Chinese or Malaysian catfish down alongside the American grown, which would you choose to eat? Really, honestly,,when nobody is looking. Would you actually choose the open sewer society’s offering?


41 posted on 07/06/2013 12:55:09 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Olog-hai

Hope you had a “non-Chinese” imported flame suit. Nobody, including yourself are backing your lame reasoning.

You have a good day, my FRiend.


42 posted on 07/06/2013 12:57:57 PM PDT by X-spurt (I'm copywriting creepy ass cracker, send royalties to BR549)
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To: Olog-hai

But how about that some people want to eat only American catfish and some want to have access to international catfish and that you can’t put up simple trade barriers without retaliation?


43 posted on 07/06/2013 1:04:43 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

Then labeling will help those crazed people find the Chinese and Vietnamese Catfish-like product they so enjoy, and then they can successfully avoid American Catfish?


44 posted on 07/06/2013 1:12:03 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: 9YearLurker

How far down does the labeling and documentation have to go down before it is a realistic guarantee?

Sounds a lot like the European Union’s labeling schemes.


45 posted on 07/06/2013 1:16:38 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: eastforker
Can you afford to ingest fish coming from polluted waters?

I always thought catfish were bottom feeders.........So what body of water that catfish inhabit aren't polluted to some degree?

46 posted on 07/06/2013 1:18:33 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (I ain't no cracker, I'm a white a$$ soda biscuit...)
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To: X-spurt

Do you know what the question mark (?) is? I’m trying to dig a bit deeper into the issue. I do not see where expansion of government is the answer to any perceived problem, with all due respect.

I already said that there are too many unanswered questions. It appears that you don’t have the answers either by your responses, or you are refusing to answer same, which looks a lot like a nod towards government expansion; and just because it is at state level does not make it good (cf. Bloomberg, which is at municipal level, even smaller in scope).

Big government combined with protectionism is mercantilism, a type of trade much favored by extreme leftists—note Red China’s favoring of same. (I did not “reason” that conclusion; it is merely fact.)


47 posted on 07/06/2013 1:19:01 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

I suspect the reason for this is the hidden secret of seafood and fresh water fish: that a lot of it isn’t what it is labeled to be.

For example, taking a cookie cutter to whitefish and calling it a scallop, or selling Escolar and Oilfish (snake mackeral) as “butterfish”, “white tuna”, or “cod” though they contain indigestible wax esters that give people diarrhea.

Red snapper is hardly ever actual red snapper. Only about 7% sold nationwide is genuine.

Farm salmon is sold as wild salmon. Pangasius is sold as grouper, sole, and cod, tilapia sold as red snapper and Atlantic farmed salmon sold as wild or king salmon.

Other bad fish sold as good fish include Ciguatera fish, frequently contaminated with toxic bacteria; good tuna, mackerel, skipjack, bonito, mahi mahi, bluefish, and marlin that are contaminated with scombrotoxin and salmonella bacteria.

And then there are otherwise good fish, that for some people can provoke an intense allergic response so must be very clearly labeled: pollock, salmon, cod, tuna, snapper, eel, and tilapia.

Most commonly foisted off as catfish is Asian pangasius (or ponga), which is also sold as sole, flounder, and grouper.

DNA testing has confirmed that one-third of the 1,215 fish samples collected from 674 retail outlets in 21 states were mislabeled, according to FDA guidelines.


48 posted on 07/06/2013 1:20:44 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: DesertRhino

No, then people who prefer to eat the cheaper Asian stuff can, because it will be on the market, while those who don’t want do can not, because it will be so marked.


49 posted on 07/06/2013 1:21:29 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: greene66

Not a very good solution to the problem, IMO.


50 posted on 07/06/2013 1:22:33 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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