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Oregon Brewers React To Proposed Rules On Spent Grain

OPB | April 3, 2014 3:10 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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Oregon brewers are speaking out about a proposal from the Food and Drug Administration that would put new restrictions on the long-standing practice of using spent grain as animal feed. 

For thousands of years, brewers have been steeping grains like wheat and barley in boiling water to extract the plants’ sugars.  The leftover grain often gets sold as animal feed.  The proposal from the FDA seeks to ensure that byproduct is safe for animals to eat.

But many in the brewing industry say the new rules would impose significant new costs, not just for the industry, but also for the farmers who buy the spent grain.

Gary Fish is the founder and CEO of Deschutes Brewery in Bend.

“No one I know of is aware of a single incident of any reported food borne illness for either animal or human.  And they’ve been making beer for 10,000 years.  So this appears to be a solution looking for a problem,” Fish said.

In a written statement, the FDA says it plans to release revised rules this summer that are “responsive to concerns expressed”.  

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