Proposed FDA rule could be costly to beer brewers, ranchers - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Proposed FDA rule could be costly to beer brewers, cattle ranchers

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If a new rule is imposed on breweries by the FDA, you could spend more on your beer and your beef. (Source: CBS 5 News) If a new rule is imposed on breweries by the FDA, you could spend more on your beer and your beef. (Source: CBS 5 News)
David Burkle, a brewer at OHSO Brewery in Arcadia, says more than 200 pounds of spent grain is donated to a local cattle farmer each and every week. Under a new FDA rule, he says he would just throw it away. (Source: CBS 5 News) David Burkle, a brewer at OHSO Brewery in Arcadia, says more than 200 pounds of spent grain is donated to a local cattle farmer each and every week. Under a new FDA rule, he says he would just throw it away. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Cattle ranch owner Tony Wayland says he would have to pass on to consumers the additional costs for grain. (Source: CBS 5 News) Cattle ranch owner Tony Wayland says he would have to pass on to consumers the additional costs for grain. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A proposed new rule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could mean higher prices at the bar and the butcher.

Under the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, breweries would be forced to dry and package spent grain that is often donated or sold to cattle and dairy farms as food.

"The proposed rule would help prevent food-borne illness in both animals and people," said Juli Putnam, a spokeswoman for the FDA in an email to CBS 5 News.

"It's really sad. It's really sad," said David Burkle, a brewer at OHSO Brewery in Arcadia. He says more than 200 pounds of spent grain is donated to a local cattle farmer each and every week.

"It would limit us. It would tie our hands completely from giving it away," said Burkle, explaining that OHSO simply does not have enough space or time to dry and package the grain.

"If we can't give it away, we're going to throw it away. We have no other ways to utilize it," he continued.

Some larger breweries sell the spent grain, which helps offset the cost of beer prices. With this new rule, there is concern prices could increase. The same is true when it comes to purchasing local beef.

"I [would] spend more money for grain. [If] I spend more money for feed, in return, I would have to pass on the expense," said cattle ranch owner Tony Wayland.

Wayland picks up donated spent grain from various breweries, including OHSO.

"[The cows] love it. They love it. It's a good tasting treat for them," he continued.

The FDA released this statement to CBS 5 News about the proposed rule:

"We recognize this is an area that should be addressed, and we are confident we will find a common-sense solution. FDA's current understanding is that the potential hazards associated with spent grains from brewers and distillers are minimal. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act directs the FDA to provide sufficient flexibility to be practicable for all types of facilities, to acknowledge differences in risks, and to minimize, as appropriate, the number of separate standards that apply to separate foods. The FDA is reviewing three rules that we proposed -- the proposed produce safety rule, the proposed preventive controls rule for human food, and the proposed preventive controls rule for animal food to avoid unnecessary, inconsistent, or duplicative requirements. We expect brewers and distillers to take reasonable measures to protect food for animals from chemical and physical hazards, and will address the issue in forthcoming proposals."

The administration has until Aug. 30, 2015, to enact all the regulations in the Food Safety Modernization Act. Currently, the rule for spent grain is open for public comment.

Copyright 2014 CBS5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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