For many years, beer breweries and farmers have used spent grains to help each other save money. After the grains are used in the brewing process the brewers pass them along to cattle farmers, who then use it as feed.

It's a relationship that saves both sides hundred of thousands of dollars a year. Enter: the federal government.

A new FDA proposal, which is included in the 2011 Food Modernization Safety Act, stipulates that spent grains be treated the same as pet food. That means the grains would have to be dried out and packaged at a huge cost.

Both sides say the increased costs would have to be passed along to consumers, arguing there is no reason for the government to be involved. The FDA has said it's hopeful that an agreement can be reached that is acceptable to both sides, but a decision may not come for another year.

The FDA says the proposed regulations are meant to ensure food safety, both for the animals and for humans.

Watch Garrett Tenney's report from Revolution Brewing Co. in Chicago.

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