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FDA expected to allow brewers to send spent grain to farmers

Sen. Charles Schumer holds up a bag of Syracuse-made Terrell's Potato Chips, and a prototype of a nano chip made by APIC, to illustrate the difference between the "chips."
Ryan Delaney
Sen. Charles Schumer. (File photo)

Spent grain will once again be allowed to be used as livestock feed in New York state. Sen. Chuck Schumer says the by product of the brewing process had been used for centuries by farmers to feed livestock, until the federal government got involved.

"All of a sudden the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, came in and said 'you can’t send this spent grain except under certain conditions.' That hurt our craft brewers, say Empire Brewing and F.X.Matt here in central New York," said Schumer. It hurt our farmers getting this grain. Otherwise they’d have to pay to dispose of it.”

Schumer says the FDA has promised to revise some rules that stopped the ability of brewers to send spent grain to farmers.

“They’ve backed off and now they’re going to allow it to happen," said Schumer. "It’s a win for a craft brewing industry, it’s a win for agriculture and it’s a win for the environment because this is the best way to dispose of spent grain.”

Schumer called the attempt by the FDA to regulate the spent grain ridiculous. He says there is no documented health risk to animals eating spent grain, making the original rule unnecessary and burdensome.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.