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FDA’s Plans To Limit Contamination Of Animal Food Has Farmers, And Brewers, Nervous

June 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The leftover raw material of the beer brewing process – known as spent grain – is not wasted by breweries. For centuries, it has been either sold or donated to grateful local farmers to use as cheap, nutritious animal feed. But donating spent grain makes breweries animal food producers, in the eyes of the FDA at least, and subjects them to rules designed to nip food contamination in the bud. Though there has been no evidence that spent grain is a source of foodborne pathogens, last fall the FDA proposed regulations requiring breweries to develop a written plan to minimize contamination. Brewers assumed that would mean they would have to dry the spent grain before donating, an expensive process. The FDA will issue new rules at the end of summer, taking into account the 2,000 panicky comments received. It insists that the cost of compliance will be minimal. But wary brewers – and farmers – are anything but reassured.
Shelby Pope, "Going Against The Grain: FDA Threatens Brewers' Feed For Farmers", KQED, June 20, 2014, © NPR
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