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‘Slap in the face’: FDA scraps $14,000 fee to distilleries that make hand sanitizer

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- After major backlash from the small-batch distilling community, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided to waive a $14,000 fee it planned to impose on distilleries for the production of hand sanitizer.

The fee was originally announced on Tuesday and issued to all distilleries who make hand sanitizer, including several on the High Desert.

Those who did want to pay the fee in 2022 would have had to stop production on New Year's Eve, just two days after being notified.

"Which is very short time to plan on a large financial decision like that," said Brad Irwin, owns Oregon Spirit Distillers in Bend.

Irwin, who also heads the Oregon Distillers Guild, took aim at the fees when he was notified, saying that distilleries stepped up in an uncertain time to fill a need during the pandemic.

"It was a really stressful, high-energy, scary time," he recalled.

Irwin said despite the unknowns, many distillers we're proud to adapt and offer sanitizer to the public.

"Here at Oregon Spirit and a lot of other distilleries, if people came in with a container we would just fill it for free," he said.

To put simply: "It feels like a little bit of a slap in the face to receive a $14,000 fee."

After that interview Thursday, NewsChannel 21 was notified that the FDA was to reverse course on its decision, a move that had Irwin relieved.

"I'm thankful, as well as the 65 other distilleries in Oregon, that they made some sense out of it and decided not to negatively impact us with a $14,000 fee."

Business / Central Oregon / Coronavirus / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.



      1. you are telling the world what would not have happened if…. What is happening just messes with your dogma way to much to deal with – good luck with the cult

      2. Your beloved Police State Kate has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help the people of Oregon or small businesses owners. Everything she has done during 2020 has been an effort to destroy Oregon

      3. Oh but it’s fine for a Republican administration to attempt to impose one…screwy logic you all are throwing out there to defend another Trump Admin. screwup…..

      1. Trump Appointee. Big surprise, a Trump supporter doesn’t even realize who appoints officials in the executive branch. You better be glad literacy tests aren’t part of voting anymore and Democrats intend to keep it that way, otherwise you’d never be eligible to vote again.

    1. Did you listen to the video? Did you read the article? Trumps FDA waived the fee. They didn’t impose the fee. YOu Demonocrats would have increased the fee and then lined their pockets some more.

    1. Trump appoints people to the federal branch, and appointed the current FDA chair. Took 3 seconds to Google that, but wouldn’t want facts and reality to get in the way of your backwater drivel.

      You’d do anything to not have to hold Trump accountable for screwing you over. It’s hilarious how pathetic you are.

    1. “They” is the Trump federal government. Trump’s not just in charge of windmill cancer research and golfing technology, he’s also the leader of a vast federal network of agencies who hate small business owners while giving $2 Trillion tax breaks to the Billionaire class. Fortunately we elected people who care about the middle class, so 2021 is going to be way better.

  1. Glad they reversed it, but what was the basis of the fee in the first place? Licensing fee to compete with Proctor & Gamble? Some sort of inspection fee? If you decided to make peanut butter would you be subject to such a fee?

  2. Y’all make me laugh with your liberal rants. Paranoid haters.

    Trump is the problem. Read this article.
    of course ~ the haters will no doubt cry “fake news”. But the fact is…he’s botched it, every step of the way in multiple levels. Ego and ignorance are an ugly combo.

    Everybody will (and has) suffer …not because of Kate or the liberals… but the entire debacle. It started a year ago and the saga continues.

    Happy trails to you in 2021. May you stay well.

  3. More to show how out of touch our government is with the people. This was disgusting and whomever came up with this idea should be fired immediately. The agency should apologize.

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