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FDA approves Elanco's methane-reducing feed additive for dairy cattle

Bovaer could lead to environmental benefits equivalent to removing over 285,000 cars from the road annually if used by one million cows.

Dairy Cow Black Background Pixabay

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated (NYSE: ELAN) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed its review of Bovaer® (3-NOP), a methane-reducing feed ingredient for lactating dairy cattle. The FDA has determined that Bovaer meets the necessary safety and efficacy standards for use.

Bovaer can reduce methane emissions by approximately 30% per cow, equating to a reduction of 1.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually. Feeding Bovaer to one million cows could reduce emissions comparable to removing over 285,000 cars from the road for a year. This innovation allows dairy farmers to be financially rewarded for reducing their carbon footprint, potentially earning $20 or more per lactating cow annually through carbon markets and conservation programs.

Elanco will now market Bovaer across North America, including Canada and Mexico, in partnership with dsm-firmenich. Initial supplies will be provided from Europe. This collaboration aims to decrease methane emissions on a large scale, supporting global climate change efforts.

Bovaer supports food companies' efforts to meet consumer demands for sustainable products and reduce Scope 3 emissions. Jeff Simmons, President and CEO of Elanco Animal Health, stated that Bovaer represents a significant innovation that addresses environmental, animal, and human health, creating value for farmers and helping meet sustainability commitments. Dimitri de Vreeze, CEO of dsm-firmenich, emphasized the collaboration's potential to significantly decrease methane emissions and support global climate change efforts.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 27 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Reducing methane emissions is critical to slowing climate change, and Bovaer offers a practical solution for the livestock industry to contribute to these efforts. Dr. Frank Mitloehner, CLEAR Center Director at UC Davis, highlighted the importance of reducing enteric methane for meeting climate goals and praised Bovaer as a valuable tool for farmers.

Gregg Doud, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, noted that Bovaer helps U.S. dairy farmers remain competitive and lead in sustainable production. This FDA approval marks a pivotal step towards more sustainable dairy farming, offering environmental benefits and new revenue streams for farmers.

Bovaer will be available to dairy farmers this summer, with tools like UpLookâ„¢ by Elanco facilitating the quantification of greenhouse gas reductions. This innovation aligns with broader agricultural sustainability efforts and government support, including an $89 million USDA funding initiative.

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