Sen. Chuck Schumer Blasts FDA's 'Ridiculous' New Proposal for Breweries



Sen. Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) is sticking up for breweries and pushing back against the Food and Drug Administration's nonsensical "spent grain" proposal. In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Schumer said the proposed rule "would drive up costs for both farmers and brewers with no clear health or safety benefit." 

Under the rule, breweries would be barred from sharing spent grains—the leftover muck from the beer-making process—unless they dry and package the grains first. Currently, many brewers donate the spent grains directly to local farmers, who feed it to livestock. It's a symbiotic relationship that saves both parties time and cuts down on environmental waste.

Nick Matt, CEO of the brewery behind Saranac beers, says his company has been providing spent grain to farmers since 1888. It seems that for the past century and change, pigs and cows have been perfectly fine without the FDA imposing safety standards on the spent grains they eat. 

At a press conference at New York's Saranac Brewery yesterday, Schumer said the "ridiculous" rule—part of the FDA's implementation of the new Food Safety Modernization Act—is overly restrictive, is unnecessary, and would force brewers to trash the grains, as this would be cheaper than meeting the new requirements. The brewing industry estimates that compliance could cost brewers over $50 million a year.

The rule "simply cannot go forward," said Schumer. "I'm urging the FDA to do an about-face on this misguided rule, which would stymie a mutually-beneficial relationship between two of Upstate New York's most important industries."

Last week, 13 U.S. representatives also sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Hamburg about the spent grain proposal. "While we appreciate that the FDA is working towards improved food safety," wrote the lawmakers, led by Reps. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), "the unintended consequences of these regulations will increase costs, decrease efficiency and hamper the growth of breweries." 

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  1. Apparently someone he knows would be affected.

  2. crap. Schumer is making sense. I’m going to have to re-examine my position and make sure I didn’t miss something.

    1. Stopped clock. It’s that time of day again.

      1. Beat me to it!

  3. Wait, wait, wait. I have to side with Moobs on an issue?

  4. Who greased FChuck?

  5. The big question is, what is in it for Chuckie?

    1. Upstate NY used to have a lot of breweries. They and the state distributors are not unknown in albany. They pull chucky’s puppet-strings from time to time.

  6. schumer standing up against regulation? supporting the industry that is so near and dear to my existence? i’ve always wondered what cognitive dissonance tastes like, now i know.

  7. “While we appreciate that the FDA is working towards improved food safety,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Reps. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), “the unintended consequences of these regulations will increase costs, decrease efficiency and hamper the growth of breweries.”

    Better letter:

    “You fuckers work for us, not the other way around. Cut this stupid shit out, now.”


    Your Friends in Congress

  8. I don’t know about pigs, but spent grain is actually better for goats and cattle than fresh grain. Their digestive systems are made to digest cellulose as the primary food, which is what spent grain mostly is.

  9. I agree with Chuck Schumer?!?!?!

    Quick! Somebody get me a defribulator!

  10. I’m sure chuck still has no problem with, say, the “Bagel Tax”, or other wonders created in albany which hurt businesspeople and consumers for the sake of proving more blood-money to throw at the public sector unions.

    I may have mentioned it, but I went to a public session in albany once; it was surreal. The short of it was: no one who showed up to air their grievances or POV on any legislation managed to get an audience of more than 1-or-2 state legislators. And those just doodled and stared into space until said person finished and moved on. THEN = it came time for the different union reps. SEIU, TWU, Teachers Union, and some other public construction union… OMG – it was like the entry of Caesar to the Senate = Every single legislator crammed into the hearing room, arranged in rows like a dutiful army for Dress Inspection. The universally overweight and poorly dressed Union people glanced over them with scorn, then read their list of demands = “more money for X, Y, and Z, and faster, please”. Each of the legislators then went to the mic and read out their pre-arranged pledge of loyalty to each of the union groups, promising them their firstborn children and their immortal soul should they ever disappoint their masters, and that no matter what, that they would do ANYTHING to achieve the goals set out for them, regardless who they had to fuck in the process.

    It was so ridiculous I couldn’t believe it. NY State Govt is so scummy as to be beyond parody.

  11. Jesus Christ, I woke up on Bizarro World today.

  12. the unintended obvious, foreseeable, nay, inevitable consequences of these regulations will increase costs, decrease efficiency and hamper the growth of breweries, with no foreseeable impact on food safety whatsoever.”

    You know the Administrative State has slipped its leash when even Congressmen feel the need to approach it as supplicants.

    1. Slipped its leash? The administrative state is the leash, and the collar, and the riding crop.

  13. So who wins the Congressional legislator accidentally scores one for liberty pool? I didn’t have today, or any day.

  14. Wow, Reason’s editors are getting really sloppy. They’ve posted this story about Chuck Schumer saying these regulations make no sense. Either that, or they’re 21 days late with the April Fools postings.

  15. Damn it this interference by these legislators has to stop. They are impeding progress.

    Regulators were hired to regulate and by damn no two bit elected official had better get in their way.

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