Dr. Benishek Pleased FDA to Reconsider Harmful "Spent Grain" Rule

Floor Speech

Date: April 30, 2014
Location: Washington, DC


Today, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) assisted with an effort opposing proposed regulations by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that rule that would prevent companies like local breweries that produce "spent grain," from providing this resource to area farmers at minimal cost. As a result of the concerns raised by a variety of stakeholders and officials, the FDA recently indicated that they would reconsider the new rule.

"This rule was not well thought out," noted Dr. Benishek, a doctor from Iron Mountain. "This is just another example of bureaucrats in Washington creating rules and regulations that are harmful to small business owners in Northern Michigan and across the country. For years, breweries in our area have been providing farmers with left over material, or spent grain, to feed their livestock. This is a win-win solution for local breweries and farmers, and it is actually beneficial to the environment as well. Otherwise, the spent grains would just end up in the landfill."

Small and independent breweries contributed over $1 billion to Michigan's economy in 2012, and employed over 11,600 people directly. Michigan agriculture overall employs over 923,000 people, a growing number of whom choose to raise their own livestock.

"Increasing costs for small business owners--whether it be a brewery or family farm--just doesn't make sense. This process has been in place for years, and I'm glad to see the FDA reconsider. The hard working people in Michigan, not bureaucrats in Washington, know what makes sense for their businesses," added Dr. Benishek.

Dr. Benishek has been working with his colleagues in the House to ensure agricultural businesses across the country are able to thrive and grow, creating more jobs and improving the economy. He is Michigan's only member of the House Committee on Agriculture.