Al-Qatfish

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Like Brazilian terrorism, Vietnamese bioterrorism is one of those things you fail to notice until the authorities have taken care of it:

Alabama is joining Louisiana in banning the sale of a Vietnamese-imported fish that competes with U.S.-farmed catfish, agriculture officials said this week….All this follows a recent Mississippi State University study that showed basa were preferred over U.S.-farmed catfish in a taste test 3-to-1.

Jesse Chappell, a fisheries specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said, "The apparent intent is to protect people from virulent infections and bioterrorism" but the effect in the short term will be to "create an even playing field" where U.S. catfish farmers can better compete.

More here.

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  1. Which begs the question: is there any possible action left from which the government can’t excuse itself via “it’s to fight terra!”?

  2. Completely banning a product “create[s] an even playing field”??? To my eyes it seems to be more equivalent to posting armed guards at the stadium gates to prevent the other team from even entering.

  3. If it were the feds, I might care. Since I don’t live in Alabammy or Mississississippi, I don’t.

  4. My god, the current administration is so against evolution that they are willing to use government force to eradicate it. He’s vetoing natural selection.

  5. Monkeys swinging from chandeliers? Oh, for a moment I thought you were talking about congress… (rim shot)

  6. Props on the headline.

  7. Random, smartass point: I think catfish are forbidden to be eaten by Muslims.

  8. mk:

    You didn’t RTFA, did you? Nice cheap shot, though, even though this has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FEDS.

  9. Great, more bacon and catfish for the rest of us!

  10. WTF? Basa’s some good eatin’ there.

  11. Looking for a positive angle on protectionism, I’ll note that this is only a State regulation. We can use the laboratory of Federalism to see how well this serves the interests of MS and LA.

    Bioterrorism is probably as much of a throwaway line as “for the children”. It can be applied to anything anybody wants to do, and saves people from actually having to decide anything; they can just respond to the emotional appeal.

  12. So much for the free market system, eh?

  13. As an Alabammy resident, I’m glad my (and I use that in the loosest sense possible) elected officials are protecting me from the scourge of bastard catfish. I have only the highest of standards for hideously ugly fish that feed on whatever dead crap sinks to the bottom of our polluted creeks and rivers.

  14. Hah! I just checked in here and saw that I accidentally posted here in the wrong thread. Oops.

  15. So I guess this is why the UK is clamping down on imports of Chinese textiles and the US subsidises sugar beet growers, to protect themselves from the threat of terrorism.

  16. Make me wanna pee my pants.

  17. Sounds like the school bully’s “I get to throw the punch, you get to catch it” definition of “even playing field.”

  18. About 2 years ago I got a little worried about eating “basa” — I’d never seen or heard of such a thing. Took me about 3-4 hours to find out it was a made up name for a species of an (ugly looking) catfish native to the Mekong delta…named that way in the US because US catfish producers couldn’t stand the idea of a better tasting fish being sold at about 2/3rd the price of domestic catfish. They couldn’t win a dumping case, so they tried to muddy the market by passing a law that declared that only fish raised in the US that had “whiskers” could be called catfish. Basa happens to be a staple in our house, and too bad for the folks in LA and MS.

  19. The author of this article to fully express thoughts and feelings, the wording of the deep to give the reader a refreshing feeling.

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