Brewers & Farmers: The FDA Wants to Confer More Power On Itself

When Americans realize that they are taxed in order to support people who bully them and interfere in their lives, they get aggravated. But the situation is much worse. We aren’t just paying people against our will to interfere in our lives. We are paying people to devise and implement new ways to bully us and attempt to run our lives and then ask for bigger budgets to use to do it.

So, for example, the money siphoned from us to feed the FDA’s bloated budget did not simply support the enforcement of current regulations. It supported people to devise new regulations to interfere in what was a perfectly functioning private relationship.

Reason reports,

As anyone who’s ever brewed their own beer knows, the process leaves a lot of excess … stuff. This goopy aftermath of the brewing process is known as “spent grain,” and it would generally go to waste. But many brewers have developed relationships with farmers, who feed the spent grain to cows and other livestock. It’s a win-win: Farmers get cost-effective feed, while brewers cut down on environmental waste and also possibly make some extra cash (or at least save cash by not having to dispose of the spent grain). 

Obviously, this won’t do. 

Under new rules proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, breweries would be required to dry and package spent grain before it could be given or sold to farmers to use as feed. Both brewers and farmers are upset by the proposal, which they say would pose a big financial burden and also just generally makes no sense.

“The transfer of spent grain … has been going on for decades,” said Jason Perkins, brew master for Allagash Brewing Company. “It is just this kind of perfect, symbiotic relationship between a brewer and a farmer.”

Well, naturally, if there is a “perfect, symbiotic relationship” somewhere in society, it is the government’s job to disrupt it, obstruct it, and make it more expensive.

The rationale for FDA interference is that no one has an incentive to prevent illness unless they are motivated by fines from the FDA. So we read in one news story:

The proposed rule is aimed at “ensuring the safety of animal food for animals consuming the food and ensuring the safety of animal food for humans handling the food, particularly pet food,” according to the FDA.

It requires facilities producing animal food to have written plans that identify hazards, specify steps to minimize those hazards, and monitor and record the safety of the feed.

“FDA understands that many breweries and distilleries sell spent grains … as animal food. Because those spent grains are not alcoholic beverages themselves, and they are not in a prepackaged form that prevents any direct human contact with the food, the Agency tentatively concludes that subpart C of this proposed rule would apply to them,” according to the FDA rule.

So in all the long history of the exchange between farmers and beermakers has anyone noticed a problem? No. But the FDA must control everything to feel safe.

How long before they come into our own kitchens and start telling us how to cook? We already are not allowed to buy milk from farmers.