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Hanna Speaks Out Against Spent Grain Rule

Congressman Richard Hanna has joined a chorus of lawmakers opposed to a proposed Food and Drug Administration rule that would severely curtail the recycling of spent grain from breweries.
Congressman Richard Hanna has joined a chorus of lawmakers opposed to a proposed Food and Drug Administration rule that would severely curtail the recycling of spent grain from breweries.

Hanna visited Water Street Brewing Company in downtown Binghamton.

Spent grain is a by-product of the brewing process that is often fed to farm animals.

Water Street regularly gives their spent grain to the McRey Farm in Glen Aubrey which feeds it to their cattle, chickens and other livestock.

Now, the FDA is proposing a rule that the spent grain be dried and packaged before being given to farms, a process so costly and time-consuming that most breweries would likely just send it to the landfill.

"It's hard to figure out who or what is driving something like this because it makes no sense at all. But, it's not uncommon," said Hanna.

"For farmers like the McRey Farm, the animals are their livelihood. They're not going to be feeding their animals anything that would be detrimental to them," said Michele Bleichert, co-owner of Water Street Brewing.

Hanna says there have been no reported health problems for the animals, or people who consume them, from the use of spent grain as feed.

The McRey Farm says brewing grain does not make up a significant portion of what the animals eat, but that's it furthers the goal of sustainability and, what's more, the animals really enjoy eating it.
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