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Senate Bill Would Send NOAA’s Seafood Inspection Program to Interior

In mid-December, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced a bill that would move the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its seafood inspections to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

More broadly, the act transfers all functions of the U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce to a newly established Department of Commerce and the Workforce. In doing so, a handful of offices would be moved elsewhere, including NOAA (currently under Commerce) to Interior.

Burr said that the consolidation of “duplicative programs” would reduce spending.

“The president has proposed merging and consolidating federal agencies several times over his two terms, and this bill advances that proposal,” Burr said in a statement.

NOAA’s fee-for-service Seafood Inspection Program offers inspections for businesses to demonstrate food regulation compliance and become eligible for stamping with official marks, such as U.S. Grade A, Processed Under Federal Inspection and Lot Inspection.

In January 2012, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said that if Congress were to grant President Obama the power to consolidate federal agencies, the White House would want to merge food safety agencies into one. The president’s first plan to merge six business-oriented and trade agencies also included a plan to move NOAA to the Department of the Interior.

© Food Safety News
  • ChemicalX

    Consolidation of food safety agencies is a great idea in theory. In practice, however, its going to get ugly. Every political enemy against the USDA, FDA, etc. would join forces against a single agency, not to mention the fact that this agency would be responsible for EVERYTHING. Congress would also have to re-write food safety laws to transfer power from the individual existing agencies to this new one, and partisan logrolling and Christmas tree bills won’t make the process any smoother.

    • Cory Baron

      NOAA’s seafood inspection program is voluntary conducted strictly by USDC (and “marine life for food” facilities will still be audits by FDA). I suspect that USDC domain will be expanded to land base facilities, is fee driven and not manditory. I have been head contact with USDC under their audits at 3 different facilities; their audits are quite good. I suspect the growth of land based aquaculture facilities is on of the major reasons for this bill.

  • Beth Aaron

    It’s NOT seafood you morons, it’s MARINE LIFE and humans are destroying our oceans and literally killing everything in them because of our reliance on a fishing industry that was immoral from the beginning. Is NO other environmental location on earth deemed holy or sacred for its OWN sake, and not because it is a resource for human exploitation? Stop the holocaust at sea. Eat plants, that’s how the fish get THEIR protein, from algae and plankton…..Change the way you view other species and THEIR habitats! Amazing that the Creationists are destroying CREATION, another word for the environment. SEAFOOD is marine life. Is NOTHING off limits to the human grasp of dominionism?

  • Beth Aaron