Proposed changes to brewing regulations

Updated: 04/21/2014 8:13 PM
Created: 04/21/2014 6:41 AM WHEC.com
By: Nikki Rudd

The brewing business is creating jobs and becoming a growing industry in our area. Today, local leaders of the industry will come together to make a plea to the federal government about a proposal they say will stifle their businesses and harm local farmers. It’s all about proposed changes by the FDA to make sure you don’t get sick.

Monday morning, Senator Charles Schumer will be at Rohrbach Brewing Company in Rochester to call on the FDA to reverse course on a new rule that he calls ridiculous.

The FDA is trying to tighten the country's food safety network. As part of a proposal, breweries like Rohrbach could not sell their spent grain to local farms to use as feed for livestock. Brewers say it's the natural by-product of beer-brewing, the left-over grain after the beer is made.     

Brewers across the area sell that spent grain to local farmers but the new proposal by the FDA would make that illegal. Senator Schumer says that plan makes no sense, that selling the grain to use as livestock feed helps both brewers and farmers. He says it’s a win-win. Schumer says taking away that transaction will drive up prices for both industries and that spent grain will be wasted and sent to landfills.

The proposed rule is designed to curb food poisoning. Schumer says there is no evidence that spent grains are affecting health or safety.

The FDA will open up the proposal to comments again this summer.

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