Dairy Industry, Breweries Ask FDA to Reconsider Animal Feed Regulation

Posted April 15, 2014

American dairy and brewery industries are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider a proposed livestock feed rule they say will make it difficult for brewers to sell their spent grain, according to an article by DTN Progressive Farmer available here.

Groups opposing the proposed rule include the American Malting Barley Association, the Beer Institute, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association.

Chris Thorne, vice president of communications for the Beer Institute, said that the production of beer is already held to high standards, since beer is produced for human consumption.  Thorne also said that the regulation would put an undue financial burden on brewers. 

Legislators also voiced concerns over the rule in a Senate appropriations hearing, according to an article by the New York Times available here.

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) asked Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, why FDA was going to make it more difficult for brewers to donate or sell their leftover grain to livestock farmers, which is a practice that “has been going on for centuries.”

Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) have also voiced their concern about the rule’s impact on brewers.

The proposed rule, “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls for Food for Animals” available here, seeks to assure that food for animals is safe and will not cause illness or injure animals or humans.  The rule would require certain facilities to establish and implement hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls.  In addition the rule would establish requirements for current good manufacturing practices in manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding of animal food. 

The proposed rule is part of FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA).

For more information on food safety, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.