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

 
 
 

22 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

3 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 of 20,00 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

3 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 tragedie ...
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

London turns world's most expensive city
London, Sep 23 (IANS) London has overtaken Hong Kong as the world's most expensive city to live and work in, as a new study has suggested it has turned nearly twice as pricey as Sydney and four times more expensive than Rio de Janeiro. India's Mumbai was found to be at the bottom of the 12 most expensive cities report.
 
 
Woolly mammoth skeleton to be auctioned in Britain
London, Sep 23 (IANS) A woolly mammoth skeleton, having remained a part of a private collection for years in Europe, is all set to be auctioned in Britain.
 
 
Alibaba's Jack Ma richest man in China: Report
Beijing, Sep 23 (IANS) Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has become the richest man in China with a fortune of 150 billion yuan ($24.4 billion), according to the "Hurun Rich List 2014" released by the Hurun Research Institute Tuesday.
 
 
IS releases new video of British hostage
Beirut, Sep 23 (IANS/EFE) Militants of Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical group Tuesday released a second video of one of its hostages in Syria, British journalist John Cantlie, who criticised the air operations carried out by the US and its allies against the group.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

58 killed in US-led airstrikes in Syria (Intro Roundup)
Washington/Beirut/Damascus, Sep 23 (IANS) At least 58 people were killed Tuesday, including 50 jihadis, as the US-led alliance launched airstrikes on Islamic extremists in Syria as US President Barack Obama called for...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Asian Games: Gymnast Dipa finishes 10th, Ashish 12th
Incheon, Sep 23 (IANS) India's Dipa Karmakar finished 10th while her compatriot Ashish Kumar was 12th in the individual all-round final of artistic gymnastics in the Asian Games here Tuesday. Dipa, who won a bronze...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
London turns world's most expensive city
London, Sep 23 (IANS) London has overtaken Hong Kong as the world's most expensive city to live and work in, as a new study has suggested it has turned nearly twice as pricey as Sydney and four times more expensive...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
UN Climate Summit opens with call for action
United Nations, Sep 23 (IANS) The UN Climate Summit opened here Tuesday with an appeal from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for global action to address climate change. "Climate change threatens hard-won peace,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Asian Games medals tally
Incheon, Sep 23 (IANS) China leads the 17th Asian Games medals tally with a total of 82 medals, including 40 golds, at the conclusion of Tuesday's competitions. Hosts South Korea are second with a total of 59 medals...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Sadie Frost's 'incredibly stressful' divorce
Sadie Frost's divorce from Jude Law was ''incredibly stressful and destructive''. The 49-year-old star, who split from the Hollywood actor after six years of marriage in 2003, likens divorce to a ''mini-personal war''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kelis doesn't like milkshakes
Kelis hates milkshakes. The 35-year-old singer, who had a hit with her 2003 song 'Milkshake' - which she previously revealed is a metaphor for ''something that makes women special'' - has admitted she isn't actually a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Shia LaBeouf announces art installation
Shia LaBeouf is to take part in a performance art installation later this week. The 'Transformers' actor will participate in '#Metamarathon' at modern and contemporary art museum Stedelijik in Amsterdam, he revealed on...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Bruce Jenner buys race car
Bruce Jenner has splashed out $50,000 on a race car. The 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' star - whose estranged wife Kris Jenner filed for divorce yesterday (09.22.14) - is a keen racing fan and made an ''impulse...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Leonardo DiCaprio joins Instagram
Leonardo DiCaprio has joined Instagram. The 'Wolf of Wall Street' actor joined the social networking site earlier today (23.09.14) and set about filling his timeline with pictures from the United Nations General...
Read more on Celebrity Balla