Growth accounting
Inequality is the new black

Sneaky catfishes

BNA reports (sorry, not linkable):

The Department of Justice announced June 7 the arrest of David S. Wong and David Chu for allegedly conspiring to deceive customs agents by falsely labeling catfish to be imported into the United States (United States v. Virginia Seafood Corp.,C.D. Cal.,No. 2:07-cr-00449,indictment 5/24/07).

The indictment, which was returned on May 24 by a federal grand jury in the Central District of California, charges 10 seafood companies and six individuals "for a scheme to import millions of pounds of falsely labeled Vietnamese catfish into the United States," the Justice Department said in a June 7 press release.

Between June 2004 and June 2005, Virginia Star Seafood Corp. and International Sea Products Corp. illegally imported over 10 million pounds of Vietnamese catfish falsely labeled as sole, grouper, flounder, and conger pike, according to the indictment. The indictment alleges that the seafood companies conspired to deceived Customs and Border Protection officials.

There's two ways to look at this. Economic libertarians would say that having any such labeling requirement invites this kind of attempt to evade the law. Parents of children, however, would say that we have a right to know what's going on our dinner table. Says Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) summed up what many fair traders are thinking, especially after Alabama banned the sale of catfish imported from China after 14 of 20 samples tested positive for fluoroquinolones - a banned antibiotic:

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) in May sent a letter to FDA calling for tougher inspection standards for catfish imported from China. "It is alarming that only 1.3 percent of imported fish, fruit, and vegetables are currently inspected," Davis said in the letter. "The FDA, the federal agency with responsibility for the safety of 80 percent of the food supply, needs to take the lead in maintaining a rigorous, flexible, and transparent food safety process."

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