Murkowski Presses FDA To Clarify Spent-Grain Rule for Brewers

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with beer-makers around the country, is celebrating a recent clarification from the Food and Drug Administration about spent grains.

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The material is a byproduct of the brewing process. Beer-makers often donate their spent grains to farms to use as animal feed. But proposed changes to the rules for animal feed producers had brewers fearing they were going to face a pile of new red tape.

Murkowski, who — in addition to being Alaska’s senior senator — is co-chair of the Senate Brewers Caucus, took up the cause.

In a sternly worded letter to the FDA in April, she said the rules would destroy the symbiotic relationship between Alaska’s brewers and farmers.

But the FDA has been saying for months it was all a mistake. The agency says it never meant to apply the animal feed rule to breweries. That’s now spelled out in the rule.

Murkowski, in a written statement Monday, said she appreciated the FDA’s new approach.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at

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