Monday, April 21, 2014

Of endangered cows and beer

Having survived the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday in the style of the Episcopal Church, with a dose of Nancy Pelosi for good measure, it was time to kick back with a beer and read inconsequential internet gibberish.
Pretty good brew, actually.

So what did I read? This from Raw Story:

New regulations about to be implemented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) threaten to dramatically increase the price of beer across the United States.

Currently, most U.S. brewers sell a by-product of the brewing process known as “spent grain” to local dairy farms. In addition to being high in protein and fiber — which is beneficial for the cows — disposing of spent grain in this manner is considered environmentally friendly.

But, charged with making the U.S. food chain more secure by the 2011 Food Modernization and Safety Act, the FDA has proposed a rule that would classify companies that distribute spent grain to farms as “animal feed manufacturers,” which would force breweries to dry and package the material before sending it to dairy farms.

Apparently this would cost enough so that beer prices would rise noticeably and cattle would suffer.

Jerome Rosa of the Jerosa Dairy said that the spent grain “is a premium product. I pay virtually nothing. But it’s like putting honey on your cereal. It makes the cows want to eat more and we notice it in their production.”

The FDA does not point to any actual harm from feedings of "spent grain." Apparently the bureaucracy is acting on a hypothetical.

Is this another instance of absurd threat inflation, like the hypothetical voter fraud at the polls that Republicans claim justifies reducing voter access? It might be. Can we trade "spent grain" restrictions for overkill in identification requirements? Just call it a wash? Something has to give ... this is wrong ...

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