Ethanol producers say they're willing and able to provide millions of gallons of alcohol that could be made into hand sanitizer as health care workers across the U.S. struggle with a shortage.
But federal regulators have been preventing that from happening. Here's why.
According to the Associated Press, most ethanol plants make food-grade ethanol, which is a step below pharmaceutical grade. Among other concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is worried about allowing people to put a lower grade alcohol on their skin.
But some health care officials say the FDA should consider loosening those guidelines so ethanol producers can help address the hand sanitizer shortage.
After all, in recent days, federal regulators have relaxed restrictions to help bolster production of medical supplies like gloves, ventilators and coronavirus tests.