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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: 2) by bucc5062 on Monday April 21 2014, @08:53PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Monday April 21 2014, @08:53PM (#34150)

    Here ya go []. It reads about as dry as a government proposal can be, but I think the general gist can be understood. Stop doing this so our overlords can make more money.

    I think James stated it well, the reality is biased enough. If there could be one valid and good reason go get a gunshot wound to the chest then please list it, but otherwise, how about we say its a bad idea and drop it. There has not ever been a case where cows where harmed in the use of spent grain, so how is this helping?

    The other factor not so much stated is the supplier relationship with the farmers. I have horses and buy hay from local farmers. If I get a bad set of hay from a farmer, I am not going to buy from them again or they really need to show me that it was a one off. Any farmer worth their salt will know if what they are getting is a good product for their cows and anything the impacts their product (beef/milk) will result in backlash. The best regulator in this case is the farmer and any beer maker worth their hops will know if they piss off the farmers, that will impact their product.

    I am not against regulations, but regulations that are to obvious to help anyone but a choice few fluff their pockets are not valid at all.

    The more things change, the more they look the same
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  • (Score: 1) by clone141166 on Tuesday April 22 2014, @06:18AM

    by clone141166 (59) on Tuesday April 22 2014, @06:18AM (#34267)

    Thanks. Yeah the more I read about it, the more it just seems like another piece of over-regulation designed to make it harder for small businesses to compete with larger established ones. Maybe there was some small good intention initially but it seems to have been lost in the many, many feet of red tape.