The proposed rule, which is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, would tighten regulations on pet food and animal feed "by requiring animal food facilities to take preventive steps to ensure that food for animals is safe," according to the FDA.
The controversy surrounds the rule's effect on the longtime practice of beer brewers giving their spent grain, the malted barley left over after the beer brewing process, to neighboring ranchers and dairy farmers. The practice serves two purposes: to help the brewers get rid of millions of tons of leftover product, and to provide a free, nutritious food source for animals at local farms.
Under the new regulation, the practice would be outlawed, unless breweries go through expensive and time-consuming measures to ensure the grain is up to regulation.
"The proposal is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act's larger effort to modernize the food safety system for the 21st century and focus public and private efforts on preventing food safety problems, rather than relying primarily on responding to problems after the fact," wrote the FDA in a press release.
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