360° Coverage : FDA's Proposed Regulation Of Brewers' Spent Grains Is...

2 Updates
FDA's Proposed Regulation Of Brewers' Spent Grains Is All Wet
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

FDA's Proposed Regulation Of Brewers' Spent Grains Is All Wet

Apr 17 2014, 10:52am CDT | by

During his February 5, 2014 appearance at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor stated that “the whole goal of [the...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

26 weeks ago

FDA's Proposed Regulation Of Brewers' Spent Grains Is All Wet

Apr 17 2014, 10:52am CDT | by

During his February 5, 2014 appearance at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor stated that “the whole goal of [the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)] is to achieve the food safety goal without imposing regulations, just for the sake of regulation.”  Dr. Taylor must have been unaware of his agency’s proposal to require that brewers, distillers, and vintners develop extensive hazard analysis and control plans before selling or donating their spent grains or grape pomace to farmers for livestock feed.  This proposal seems to be the epitome of regulating for the sake of regulating.

Farmers have been procuring and feeding their livestock spent brewing grains and grapes for centuries.  These livestock “happy hour” arrangements advance environmental sustainability, engender bonds among local businesses, and make financially benefit both parties.  Farmers get low cost whole grain feed packed with fiber, protein, and, of particular importance to livestock in arid climates, moisture.  Alcohol makers save millions by not having to landfill the by-products.

FSMA Section 116 exempts activities at facilities which “relate to the manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding of alcoholic beverages.”  In a proposed animal food safety regulation, FDA essentially nullifies this statutory exemption.  The agency “tentatively concludes” that when brewers or distillers go through the “mashing” process—soaking grains in hot water—and then offer the by-product to farmers, they suddenly become food producers.  The same goes for winemakers and their grape pomaceFDA’s conclusion has sparked a deserved firestorm of opposition from the affected industries as well as members of Congress.

Mass production and craft brewers, distillers, vintners, and farmers have urged FDA to reconsider.  Members of Congress across the political and geographical spectrum have also spoken out, and FDA Commissioner Hamburg has been grilled about spent grains at appropriations hearings.

While Congress is justifiably upset about this proposal’s impact on constituents, Senators and Representatives should also be troubled by FDA’s blatant disregard of the explicit wording and purpose of FSMA.  Alcohol producers are not making animal feed as part of their commercial ventures.  Spent grains and grape pomace are, as FSMA § 116 states “relate[d] to the manufacturing . . . of alcoholic beverages.”  If those grains and grapes are not exempt from FSMA after being heated or crushed, there is no logical reason why such pre-processed raw materials would be exempt.  In that case, as one public comment posited, FDA has struck “the words ‘manufacturing’ and ‘processing’ from the FSMA’s beverage alcohol exemptions.”  FDA lacks authority to amend statutes, a constitutional reality which exposes the FSMA regulation, if finalized as it is currently drafted, to federal court challenge.

Congress passed FSMA to address actual, not speculative, risks to food safety.  FDA did not offer any data or anecdotal evidence to support its precautionary requirements, nor can it, because none exist.  The raw materials which alcohol makers utilize, as well as the entire brewing/distilling process, are already subject to extensive regulation.  Because it would eliminate little, if any, additional risk, FDA’s proposal would flunk any formal cost-benefit analysis, if one had actually been done.

To sum up, FDA is overstepping its constitutional authority to impose unnecessary controls on a centuries-old, local, safe, and environmentally sustainable practice which financially benefits all parties involved.  That sounds like the kind of practice the current (or any) administration would whole-heartedly support.

So why is FDA having a cow over spent alcohol grains and crushed grapes?  Perhaps, as the agency is wont to do, FDA is trying to extend its regulatory turf.  Other signals exist to support this notion, including FDA’s move against caffeinated alcoholic beverages and the ten pages it devoted to fermented products in its proposed update of nutrition labels.  We should all hope that is not the case.  FDA already labors to keep up with its clearly defined responsibilities—struggles which can be life-threatening.  It need not add protecting livestock from phantom risks to its overweight agenda.

Or is this simply another example of hammer-wielding regulators seeing a nail, and reflexively striking?  If so, now would be a good time for FDA to embrace the concept of regulatory humility.  The agency’s leaders must take a step back, think about the tens of millions in wasted costs and lost opportunities its requirements will impose, and admit that FDA’s “tentative conclusion” about spent grains is mistaken.  Commissioner Hamburg’s statement to Senate Committee on Appropriations members that “there are sensible, reasonable solutions and we’re committed to working toward those,” gives us some hope that humility and reason might yet prevail at FDA.

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce o ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

iPhone app to ensure eye health
Washington, Oct 19 (IANS) Researchers have successfully used an iPhone app for imaging the inside of the eye of immobile and paediatric patients.
 
 
How the birth season can trigger mood disorders
London, Oct 19 (IANS) The risk of developing mood disorders is impacted by the season in which you are born in, a research showed.
 
 
Reheat your pasta to avoid fat
London, Oct 19 (IANS) Love pasta but hate to add those extra kilos around your waist? Cool it down and reheat it again.
 
 
Ebola: Global fight to be coordinated with West African national plans
Accra, Oct 19 (IANS/WAM) The UN and the governments of the countries at the forefront of efforts to turn back the unfolding Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa have agreed to ensure that the UN system adopts a coordinated approach to global support being mobilised for national-level crisis response plans.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Bush shoe-tossing painting hits record at Doha auction
Doha, Oct 15 (IANS/EFE) A controversial painting by Iranian artist Mahmud Obaidi, depicting an Iraqi journalist throwing shoe in 2008 at then US president George W. Bush, was sold for $62,500 at a Sotheby's auction in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
US offers $45 mn bounty for eight terror leaders
Washington, Oct 15 (IANS) The US said Tuesday it is offering rewards totalling up to 45 million dollars for information on eight key leaders of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist organisation. The...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
UNSC extends peacekeeping mission's term in Abyei
United Nations, Oct 15 (IANS) The UN Security Council (UNSC) has renewed the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Abyei border region between Sudan and South Sudan. In an unanimously adopted resolution, the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ebola cases in West Africa could reach 10,000 per week: WHO
Geneva, Oct 15 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could reach 5,000 to 10,000 cases per week by the first week of December. "Quite frankly, ladies and...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Turkey, Singapore sign strategic partnership agreement
Ankara, Oct 15 (IANS) Turkey and Singapore have signed a strategic partnership agreement to boost economic, political and cultural cooperation, as well as security collaboration, during the official visit of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Christina Aguilera is returning to 'The Voice' USA
Christina Aguilera will return to 'The Voice' USA next year. The 'Your Body' hitmaker, who previously shared a rotating spot on the judging panel with Shakira, has been replaced by Gwen Stefani this season as she is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kesha's music producer hits back
Kesha is being countersued by her record company boss, Dr. Luke. The 41-year-old music producer, who runs Kemosabe Records, claims the 27-year-old 'Tik Tok' singer is a liar and is trying to extort him after she accused...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jason Derulo won't get back together with Jordin Sparks
Jason Derulo insists his split from Jordin Sparks is permanent. The 'Talk Dirty' hitmaker, who recently ended his relationship with the 'No Air' singer after three years of dating, has ruled out getting back together...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Josh Groban feels 'very lucky' to be dating Kat Dennings
Josh Groban feels ''very lucky'' to be dating Kat Dennings. The 'Brave' hitmaker was very nervous before singing in front of the '2 Broke Girls' actress for the first time at the Carousel of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Australian Richard Flanagan wins 2014 Man Booker prize
London, Oct 15 (IANS) The first Man Booker prize to allow American nominees was Tuesday night won by an Australian, with Richard Flanagan triumphing for a novel of love and war that tells the harrowing stories of...
Read more on Celebrity Balla