FDA Backs Down on Spent Grain Rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is backing down from their proposed rule regarding the disposal of spent grain that ignited a huge response from brewers and triggered a ton of ink in the mainstream press. The FDA has indicated to numerous members of Congress that they will adjust the final proposal to take into account concerns from the brewing industry.

The rule would have required brewers to prepare written food safety plans including expensive monitoring processes to ensure that spent grain had not come into contact with any harmful substances. Given the expense of the possible treatment of spent grains before sending to the farmer as animal feed, may brewers suggested it would be less costly to send it to the landfill.

“I made clear to (FDA) Commissioner (Margaret) Hamburg when we spoke that this ridiculous rule would have been extremely damaging for upstate New York, harming both our burgeoning craft brew industry and farmers alike,” Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a statement Thursday. “I am glad she realized that the proposed rule is misguided and that she is committed to protecting this win-win transaction.”