Sen. Schumer visits Saranac Brewery to discuss new FDA grain proposal


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer was at the Saranac Brewery, Friday, in order to call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reverse their course, and allow brewers and farmers to continue exchanging brewing byproduct.

Senator Schumer said that the current change, if implemented, will cause costs for brewers to rise, and will also waste "spent grain," a natural byproduct of the brewing process, by sending it to landfills.

According to the FDA, spent grain needs to be regulated because it is often times recycled to be used in animal food. The Administration said that if not regulated, it could become unhealthy for the animals who consume the leftover material.

Schumer opposes this regulation proposal, claiming that there is no proof to indicate a negative effect on the health of animals who consume it, and even stated that they are great for animals because of all the nutrients it contains.

The new proposed rule is a part of the Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Schumer argued that this part of the Act is unnecessary because it will be fixing something that isn't currently broken.

"Not only would these rules be wasteful, they'd drive up cost to brewers and farmers, a double whammy on upstate economy," he said Friday. "The brewing industry says that compliance with the proposed rule would cost brewers in America $50 million and be a burden on small brewers who produce less than a 1000 barrels a year."

The Senator warned against wasting the excess materials because it would just go to landfills instead of being recycled.

In addition to Schumer's opposition, breweries around the country have also shown opposition to the proposed rule because it would cause them to have to jump through hoops in order to attempt to sell or donate their extra spent grains.

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