Proposed FDA Rule Could Cost Farmers and Breweries Thousands

By Joe Gullo

Published 05/14 2014 04:38PM

Updated 05/14 2014 06:26PM

WASHINGTON - A proposed FDA rule could cost farmers and breweries thousands of dollars.

Currently, farmers are getting feed for their cows in the form of "mash". That is the left over malted barley combined with grains that brewers use in their beer making process.

The FDA is proposing the grain instead be dumped in landfills. This would force farmers to find feed elsewhere and cost breweries to ship it off to landfills.

Congressman Peter Welch says the FDA hasn't given a reason for the rule change.

"There is no health and safety risk with allowing our brewers and our farmers to continue working together in the way that they have been for over two hundred years in the United States," Rep. Welch said.

Feed for cows usually runs a farmer four to five hundred dollars a ton.

In a given week, breweries can produce 28,000 pounds of mash that they can give to farms for free.

Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Gardner are original sponsors of the Protecting the Sustainable Use of Spent Grains Act.

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