The Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) is upping the stakes in its battle against mislabeled basa fish imports from Vietnam, with a full-page advert in the current issue of Roll Call.

The ad is unequivocal in its claims that the inferior quality basa fish is being deceptively labeled “catfish” by fish importers, confusing consumers and caterers alike: “Something’s Fishy. It’s called FRAUD.”

Seymour Johnson, chairman of the CFA’s Vietnamese Import and Strategy Committee, commented: “The ad clearly demonstrates our willingness and determination to take our efforts to the next level.

“We want our consumers to know the dramatic differences between these products and we want Congress to understand the serious ramifications of this issue on the American economy, particularly in the South.”

In a press release, the CFA explains: “This illegal substitution is akin to selling kangaroo meat as ground beef.”

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The ad maintains, “Species Substitution is Fraud. It hurts American consumers and the American economy. The FDA should take Action. Now.” It also reveals the financial losses the domestic catfish industry has incurred due to the fraud, estimated at US$50m.

The Catfish Farmers of America has 1800 members from 41 US states and the District of Columbia, and represents around 90% of the catfish production.