$20 Million in Taxpayer Money Spent on Catfish Inspections

Critics question whether US government really needs two agencies to inspect catfish.
2:31 | 08/26/13

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Transcript for $20 Million in Taxpayer Money Spent on Catfish Inspections
And up next, our washington watch dog series, looking out for waste of taxpayer dollars. David kerley has some tough questions about something he found, two agencies, one fish and millions in taxpayer money. Reporter: Dick stevens -- how much more do you all got to go today? Reporter: -- Is a catfish legend in mississippi. We can do 400,000. Reporter:400,000 in one day? Pounds, yes. Reporter: That is a lot of fish. That is a lot of fish. Reporter: He's one of the biggest catfish processors in the country and, believe it or not, one of the driving forces for getting the u.S. Department of august culture for getting inspections here and exported. Critics call that a huge waste of taxpayer money. You have the fda. We have fda but that's a nonexistent inspection. Reporter: Believe it or not, two federal agencies are supposed to inspect the same fish. The usda spent $20 million just for planning those inspections. While there have been concerns about the add kwasy of inspections of imported fish in the past, do we need usda inspection, too? Food safety concern. No, a catfish is a catfish. It's a safe food. Reporter: This is one of the most foremost safety experts who says catfish is not a high risk food and fda should continue to be in charge of inspecting it. The only thing you're left with it's about politics. Reporter: Why poll sticks? Because the additional inspection makes it harder for fish importers to get their fish into the u.S. The main competition. Get this, with that $20 million in five years, the usda has not inspected a single fish but have ordered some really nice pens that proclaim office of inspection program. We went to jackson, mississippi to see the senator who was responsible to get the law changed. He's definitely the right person to speak with -- Reporter: But he wasn't there and has declined our request for interview. Do you think you're wasting taxpayer money? No I don't. I think it's well spent. Reporter:20 million and counting. David kerley, mississippi. We want to hear from you so sound off on washington waste. You're invited to do so on our facebook page.

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