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posted by janrinok on Monday April 21 2014, @12:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-who-will-make-a-profit? dept.

One gallon of beer yields on average about a pound of spent grain, the malted barley husks leftover after mashing and the sweet liquid is drained. It's a food grade product and for years, smaller craft brewers have donated or sold on the cheap their spent grain to farmers to feed cows and other livestock. Now The Oregonian reports that the FDA, charged with tightening the country's food safety network, has proposed a rule that strikes financial fear into the hearts of brewers and distillers nationwide which could cost the industry millions and increase the price of beer and spirits. The proposal would classify companies that distribute spent grain to farms as animal feed manufacturers, possibly forcing them to dry and package the material before distribution. The equipment and set up to do that would cost about $13 million per facility, says Scott Mennen, vice president of brewery operations at Widmer. "That would be cost prohibitive," Mennen said. "Most brewers would have to put this material in a landfill."

The FDA rule would also require brewers and distillers to keep extensive records to allow for traceability in the event of a problem, and to adopt new safety procedures, for example by storing and shipping spent grain in closed sanitized containers. "Beer prices would go up for everybody to cover the cost of the equipment and installation," says James Emmerson, executive brewmaster of Full Sail Brewing Co. The proposal has sparked an outpouring from opponents, with hundreds of comments pouring into the FDA. "This is the kind of stuff that makes government look bad," says Rep. Peter DeFazio. "It would mark a huge setback adding tons of waste to our landfills."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21 2014, @12:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21 2014, @12:48PM (#33928)

    Remember that little ol' article [soylentnews.org] we all talked about a while back regarding the fate of the nation? Somethings start to make sense when looked through that prism.

    On the surface this looks like a bone-headed decision based on this act:

    The proposed rule is one of seven pillars of the Food Safety Modernization Act, signed by President Obama in 2011 to stem food poisoning, which sickens 48 million people a year in the United States and kills 3,000.

    As one who is still recovering from food poisoning (truly sucks) I can applaud the initiative, but what's the disconnect here? The slurry is going to cows and livestock, not people. Knowing what cows eat, food poisoning is not one of the issues. So what then. I appreciate the concern of my government over my health (cough cough), but this next statement makes no sense either for it mixes apples and oranges, food for animals and food for humans directly:

    “We don’t know of any problems,†McChesney said. “But we’re trying to get to a preventative mode.â€

    No one ever considered roasted peanuts a high risk food until the 2009 salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 and killed nine. That outbreak was caused by a company that ignored positive test results.

    If it is not a concern over direct food poisoning then what could it be?

    The hint is in the word "Free". Many of these farms are getting this product either free or pay a very low cost for the product. The companies that lose? Feed manufacturers. From Cargill to Monsanto these companies gain by putting this practice out of business. As we know, money now talks and I figure it is talking loudly to the FDA. To bad this story will get buried, but in 2015, watch as the rule gets implemented, despite overwhelming opposition publically. Representatives writing letters today will be singing a different tune come next year. All hail our new Kings and Queens.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by bucc5062 on Monday April 21 2014, @12:50PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Monday April 21 2014, @12:50PM (#33929)

    (dang sn logged me out and didn't notice). Replying to self to say this was from bucc5062.

    --
    The more things change, the more they look the same
  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday April 21 2014, @01:09PM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Monday April 21 2014, @01:09PM (#33936) Homepage
    Thanks, bucc5062, you make some good points. In particular, this begins to answer the question that wanted to ask:

    > Many of these farms are getting this product either free or pay a very low cost for the product. The companies that lose? Feed manufacturers. From Cargill to Monsanto these companies gain by putting this practice out of business.

    the question being "what lobby's behind this?", obviously.

    Time for someone to roll out a venn diagram, perhaps? http://progressivecynic.files.wordpress.com/2012/1 1/geke.png
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 3) by mhajicek on Monday April 21 2014, @02:43PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday April 21 2014, @02:43PM (#33988)

      I could've cite a source, but I recall a Monsanto executive stating that it was their goal to control the entire food supply.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday April 21 2014, @02:46PM

        by mhajicek (51) on Monday April 21 2014, @02:46PM (#33990)

        Couldn't...

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by geek on Monday April 21 2014, @01:46PM

    by geek (3368) on Monday April 21 2014, @01:46PM (#33949) Homepage

    Not one person has ever gotten sick due to this practice. Yet here we are, punishing them for no reason and passing the cost off on consumers.

  • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Monday April 21 2014, @02:29PM

    by GlennC (3656) on Monday April 21 2014, @02:29PM (#33980)

    Oh for mod points!

    --
    Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday April 21 2014, @06:02PM

    by sjames (2882) on Monday April 21 2014, @06:02PM (#34082) Journal

    The oddest part about the peanut story is that it suggests that in that case, regulation failed to prevent the problem. It was thought to be a low risk (yet a test was done?) but they ignored the positive result (so the testing didn't change anything).

  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday April 22 2014, @02:57AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday April 22 2014, @02:57AM (#34232) Homepage

    Uh, no. Distillers dried grains are widely used by those same feed manufacturers as well. If this cheap byproduct goes away, they'll need to find a more-expensive replacement... most likely the replacement will be soybean meal, which last I looked was at $400/ton. So the price on their bagged and bulk feeds goes up, sales go down, everybody loses.