FDA Responds to Crafter Brewers’ Concerns on FSMA
by Susanne Retka Schill (Ethanol Producer Magazine) … In mid-April, Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) wrote to the FDA commissioner, urging the agency exempt raw agricultural commodities, distillers grains and other byproducts. In the letter, Johanns wrote, “I am concerned about FDA regulation of byproducts used in animal food. Whether the byproducts are from ethanol plants, breweries, or human food manufacturers, these are an important part of the supply chain for animal food and help companies reduce waste and create additional value. However, the proposed rule included a number of new requirements that would have made the distribution of byproducts cost-prohibitive. That would endanger an economical food source, instead threatening to clog our landfills with nutritious feedstuffs.”
A week after Johann’s letter, FDA’s deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Michael Taylor addressed the issue in a blog, “Getting it Right on Spent Grains.”
He outlined the concerns raised that FDA might disrupt or even eliminate the use of byproducts for feed or impose redundant standards. “That, of course, would not make common sense, and we’re not going to do it,” Taylor wrote.
While the language in the proposed rule could lead to the misperception that human food manufacturers would need to establish separate animal feed safety plants and control for by-product, he wrote, “It was never our intent to do so.”
FDA explained the issues further in a document on its website, “Questions and Answers for Brewers/Distillers on the FSMA Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Animal Food.”
In addition to the specific issues raised by the craft brewers, the revised rules being reopened this summer for comment are expected to clarify issues impacting other industries, including the fuel ethanol industry. The deadline is Aug. 30, 2015, for the final rule covering good manufacturing practices and preventative controls for food for animals. READ MORE