Lawmakers urge FDA to modify brewery grain rules

Lawmakers are pushing the Food and Drug Administration to modify proposed rules requiring breweries to inspect spent grain given to cattle.

In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, 13 House members said the proposed regulation would impose heavy costs on small breweries. [READ LETTER HERE.]

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Under the proposed regulation, breweries would have to dry, package and inspect all food used for cattle. Many breweries use their spent grain, which is steeped in hot water to extract natural sugars for alcohol production, as cattle feed. The lawmakers said that requiring breweries to go through the inspection process would cut into profits and ultimately waste the grain.

"While we appreciate that the FDA is working towards improved food safety, the unintended consequences of these regulations will increase costs, decrease efficiency and hamper the growth of breweries, particularly those which include restaurants," wrote the lawmakers, led by Reps. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.).

Breweries that have restaurants on their premises already must register with the FDA and maintain food safety records. There were 2,768 operating craft breweries in the U.S. last year, according to the Brewers Association.

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