We live in a time when the governing political party and the dominant strain in the major media constantly harp on two themes:
- Capitalism is wasteful, not environmentally sound, and
- We need more regulation from government.
So, it is especially droll to witness the Food and Drug Administration pounce upon an age-old recycling practice between breweries and farms. In the name of “better regulation,” and “safety,” of course.
For well over a century beer brewers have disposed of their spent grain product — the non-beer product of the beer-making process — by giving or selling it cheaply to farmers, who feed it to livestock.
It would cost a lot to dispose of this in landfills, so brewers save money by letting farmers take the dregs off their hands.
But now the FDA, in a new set of proposed rules (proposed not by Congress, by the way), wants to protect cattle’s food supply by requiring brewers to dry the spent grain before shipping it off.
That’s a killer cost. One Oregonian brewer referred to it as an “enormous burden,” and warned that higher consumer prices would be the result.
I’m with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D), who demands that the agency go back to the drawing board.
“I don’t know everything about beer,” Wyden has been quoted, “but I do know when a federal agency acts like it has had one too many.”
For my part, I don’t see this as aberrant behavior from a federal agency. I see it as typical.
Typically drunk on power.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.