Brewers are pleased with the revised rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) published last week because their spent grains are now clearly exempted. The byproduct of the brewing process that remains after the mashing and lautering stages is commonly sold or given to farmers to feed to their livestock. Last spring, many brewers expressed their concerns that the proposed FSMA rule on preventive controls for pet food and animal feed would impose regulations on spent grains, making its transfer onerous and cost-prohibitive. Modifications to the rule released Friday mean that food processors already complying with FDA human food safety requirements won’t need to implement additional preventive controls except to prevent physical and chemical contamination when holding and distributing the byproduct. “We are gratified that the Food and Drug Administration listened to our concerns about their proposed rule,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “They have made the changes necessary for U.S. brewers to continue to market our spent grains as we always have — safely, with industry-best standards for testing, monitoring and management of the grains from the start of the brewing process.” Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), one member of Congress who went to bat for beer makers, said that FDA “definitely got the message on spent grains and backed away from rules that would have made it impossible for craft brewers and distillers here in Maine to give their byproducts to dairy farmers.” At the time of the uproar, Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, took to the agency’s blog to assure trade groups and members of Congress that FDA would not disrupt or eliminate the practice of using human food byproducts in animal feed. In a conversation with Food Safety News in April, Dan McChesney, director of FDA’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance, said that what would be expected of brewers is “really not much more than what they’re currently doing” and that the agency would clarify this position in the reissued language. He said that FDA’s main concern was whether such products are held in the right type of storage container while waiting to be picked up by farmers and whether they are properly labeled so that someone wouldn’t mistake them for a garbage can or an oil recycling container. The Beer Institute plans to continue looking at the issue, and, McGreevy said, “will likely file additional comments.”