Welch continues criticism of FDA - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Welch continues criticism of FDA

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Vermont's congressman repeats his sharp criticism of the Food and Drug Administration.

Representative Peter Welch, D-Vt., worries that a recent interpretation of an old rule would ban the use of wood planks in the cheese-aging process.

Last week, an FDA representative clarified the agency's position indicating the process has not been banned, but that the discussion would continue.

Welch says he'll keep applying pressure until the FDA issues a stronger commitment to producers.

"What they haven't done is clarify definitively whether cheese boards are going to continue to be allowed to age cheese and these cheese makers are entitled to clarity as to what is the regulation," said Welch.

Earlier this year, Welch had a similar disagreement with the FDA over a byproduct of beer brewing spent grains.

It's common for the industry to give the used-grains to farmers as cattle feed.

Welch and many brewers expressed concern at the time that a possible new rule for handling the grains would make the process too expensive. The rule did not go into effect.

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