Farmers and brewers are connected on many levels. Obviously, brewers could not brew without farmers providing hops and barley. But brewers have historically given back to farmers as well - in the form of spent grain left over from the brewing process. Only a portion of the grain, the starches which are converted into sugars, is used, leaving the husk and other nutrients which can then be used as supplemental feed for livestock. This is a sustainable, environmentally responsible practice that has been going on, possibly since the beginning of brewing in the world. However, due to proposed legislation, that process is in danger of coming to a halt.
March 31, 2014 (Washington, DC) – Today, the Beer Institute filed joint comments with the American Malting Barley Association in order to protect a centuries-old and environmentally-conscious practice of brewers marketing their brewers’ grain to local animal producers. Please click here to view the comments, filed today.
The Beer Institute has been working for more than a year with Members of Congress, regulators and allied organizations from dairy farmers to agriculture scientists in order to present a strong economic and scientific argument proving that it is completely unnecessary for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add additional regulation to brewers’ spent grain and other by-products of brewing. The Beer Institute is the national trade association representing brewers of all sizes, beer importers and industry suppliers like hops farmers and can and bottle manufacturers.
The National Milk Producers Federation also filed comments that expressly reference and include support for the Beer Institute’s comments.
Brewers’ spent grain exist as a natural and necessary result of the brewing process. For centuries, brewers, large and small, have disposed on their spent grain by giving or selling them to farmers and ranchers. This recycling process supports community green initiatives, but could end if this FDA rule is upheld. Instead, some brewers will be forced to throw away this valuable feed, a cheaper option than complying with the costly proposed regulations, which the Beer Institute estimates may cost a single brewery more than $13 million in one-time and reoccurring costs.
Chris Thorne, Beer Institute Vice President of Communications said: “This regulation is onerous and expensive, but really it’s just unnecessary. There has never been a single reported negative incidence with spent grain.” Thorne added, “We have had very positive conversations with the FDA and other concerned stakeholders making us cautiously optimistic.”
This letter was filed in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule on “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals” under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) [Docket No.: FDA-2011-N-0922] RIN: 0910-AG10.
In November of 2013, the Beer Institute filed two additional comments with the FDA regarding proposed FSMA regulations. The first comment, filed jointly with the Brewers Association, asked the FDA to add hops to the list of produce that is exempt from regulation under FSMA because hops are not consumed raw and are quite safe.
The American Malting Barley Association again joined the BI in our second letter last November – asking the FDA to exempt brewers’ spent grain from FSMA regulation for human food because they are safe and merely the byproduct of brewing.
The Beer Institute will continue following all developments with the FSMA and any proposed regulations that may impact U.S. brewers.
The Beer Institute is the national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. First founded in 1863 as the U.S. Brewers Association, the Beer Institute is committed today to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: http://www.BeerInstitute.org.