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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Schumer: FDA to back off grain proposal

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  • U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says the federal Food and Drug Administration has backed off plans to impose new regulations on grains left over from brewing beer.
    Brewers often give their spent grain to farmers, who haul it away and use it to feed their livestock.
    The new regulations – which the FDA had planned to implement soon as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act – would have been time-consuming and difficult for small brewers to comply with, Schumer says.
    He says many small brewers would have opted to send the grains to landfills instead, upping both disposal costs for the brewers and feed costs for farmers.
    Schumer - who held a press conference on the issue last week at Upstate Brewing in Horseheads - says he received assurances from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg that the proposed rules will be revised.
    Spent grains - also called wet grains - are high in fiber and protein, and have been used as animal feed for centuries. There’s no food safety risk involved, Schumer says.
    FDA spokesman Dr. Dan McChesney told the Associated Press on Wednesday the practice is generally safe, but that his agency wanted to ensure the spent grains are handled properly during the transfer from breweries to farms.
    The FDA will review the proposed new rules and clarify them, McChesney said.
    Schumer is also pushing to lower excise taxes for small brewers.

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