FDA paves the way for reducing methane emissions from livestock

EDF statement from John Tauzel, senior director for global agriculture methane

May 30, 2024
Hilary Kirwan, (202) 572-3277, hkirwan@edf.org

(WASHINGTON, DC) “U.S. dairy farmers will soon be able to reduce the amount of methane their cows produce thanks to a new decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that clears the way for a product called Bovaer to come to market. When added to animal feed, Bovaer cuts the amount of methane animals produce by up to 30%. This type of innovation is essential for slowing climate change.

“Livestock are a major source of methane, one of the biggest drivers of climate change today. Lowering these emissions is essential for a safer climate, but until now, enteric methane solutions haven’t been available for U.S. livestock farmers to use.

“FDA’s decision changes that. The agency followed a rigorous and comprehensive review process that protects human and animal health. This strong, science-backed approach ensures the safety of our food supply and should be a model for future reviews of enteric methane solutions.

“Elanco Animal Health, Inc supported a strong safety review process for its product, Bovaer, and their actions set the bar for effective review of these products. Other companies developing enteric methane-reducing products must follow suit to ensure that farmers, ranchers and consumers benefit from a robust, well-tested set of methane solutions.

“Bovaer is the first product of its kind, but it can’t be the last. We need a full suite of options available to dairy farmers and cattle ranchers to choose from for their operations. FDA’s rigorous review here is foundational for making this happen, and we encourage Congress to codify a rigorous and efficient approach that encourages further innovation going forward.”

  • John Tauzel, senior director, global agriculture methane

Read EDF’s blog post about enteric methane products and research for additional context about innovations to lower livestock methane emissions.

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