FDA to Revisit Proposed Regulation of Spent Grain

A couple of months back in a guest post, our good friend and fellow beer attorney Brook Bristow provided a thoughtful overview of proposed regulations from FDA. The potential regs would affect brewers’ ability to sell their spent grain to farmers, requiring strict handling, testing, and record-keeping processes. Since the post, the Brewers Association and the farming industry have spoken out against the regulations. They’ve observed, the cost of compliance could turn brewers away from the practice, putting this beneficial grain into landfills instead of recycling it. Further, the loss of this feed source for farmers could end up raising the prices of goods like meat and milk.

We’re happy to report that FDA seems to be taking note of the brewing industry’s concerns, and is making revisions to the rule. FDA made the following statement:

“We anticipated some of these issues when we requested comment on the proposed rule and are already reviewing the extensive input received from brewers and others. We recognize this is an area that should be addressed and will reach out to those concerned. When the agency proposes revised language for this rule later this summer, we will include more on this issue and welcome comments.”

Hopefully, the new proposed rule will strike a better balance between FDA’s concerns and what is an environmentally friendly and long-proven safe practice.

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