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

10 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

 
 
 

15 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
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Ra ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the sou ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.7 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustap ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 million ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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

Ebola outbreak: $100 mn response plan in West Africa
Geneva, Aug 1 (IANS) The director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and presidents of West African countries hit by the Ebola virus outbreak will Friday meet in Guinea to launch a new $100 million response plan.
 
 
OPEC daily basket price closes lower
Vienna, July 31 (IANS) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $105.21 a barrel Wednesday, against $105.44 Tuesday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.
 
 
Ebola outbreak not a global threat: Report
London, July 31 (IANS) The deadly Ebola virus does not pose a global threat, a latest report has claimed, adding that as long as the virus continues to infect people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, there is small risk of more long-distance export of the disease.
 
 
Getting chatty with meow chat
New York, July 31 (IANS) A new chat app is on the prowl, stalking users on social networks like a cat.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Gowda lands discus gold, wrestlers Yogeshwar, Babita triumph (India Roundup)
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) Discus thrower Vikas Gowda broke a 56-year jinx, to toast with gold alongside wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Kumari as India snaked up to the fifth spot in the medal race at the Commonwealth...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Sharath Kamal-Amalraj in semi-finals of Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) India's men's doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj made it to the semi-finals beating England's Danny Reed and Sam Walker in the table tennis quarterfinal in the 2014...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Commonwealth Games medals tally
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) England are leading medals table with 44 gold, 40 silver and 39 bronze in the 20th Commonwealth Games. India are now fifth with a tally of 47 medals, including 13 gold, 20 silver and 14 bronze....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Marsh, Hooper not moving in together
London, Aug 1 (IANS) Actress Kym Marsh and her boyfriend Dan Hooper are not planning to move in together, says the actress' spokesman. "Kym and Dan have no plans to move in together," eonline.com quoted the spokesman...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian medal winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) The following is the list of Indian medal winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games here: Gold: Sanjita Khumukchan: women's 48 kg weightlifting Sukhen Dey: men's 56 kg weightlifting Abhinav Bindra:...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Zoe Saldana is a 'bad influence' on sisters
Zoe Saldana claims she is a ''bad influence'' on her sisters, Mariel and Cisley. The 36-year-old actress, who is reportedly expecting twins with husband Marco Perego, admits she has ''almost 10'' hidden tattoos on her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kylie Jenner gets new Range Rover for birthday
Kylie Jenner has got a new Range Rover ahead of her birthday. The 16-year-old reality TV star - who will turn 17 on August 10 - shared a photograph of the expensive black vehicle, believed to have been a gift from her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ne-Yo sues accountant for $8 million
Ne-Yo is suing his former accountant for $8 million. The 'Closer' hitmaker, real name Shaffer Smith, has filed a new lawsuit against his one-time ''manager, confidant, trusted adviser and friend'' Kevin Foster in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie exchanged love letters
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie exchanged romantic love letters when they were forced to be apart last year. The 39-year-old actress, who has six children, Maddox, 13, Pax, 10, Zahara, nine, Shiloh, eight, and five-year-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Perfect day for Indian shuttlers at CWG
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) Indian shuttlers had a perfect day at the Commonwealth Games as all of them won their respective Round of 16 matches to proceed to the quarter-finals at the Emirates Arena here Thursday. To start...
Read more on Sport Balla