FDA OKs methane-reducing feed ingredient for cows

By Marc Heller | 05/29/2024 01:35 PM EDT

The approval of Elanco Animal Health’s product boosts the dairy industry’s efforts to cut climate-related emissions.

Cows stand in a feedlot.

Cows stand in a feedlot in Quemado, Texas. Brandon Bell/AFP via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a feed additive that reduces methane emissions from cows is a big step forward in the dairy industry’s efforts against climate change, a group representing farmers said.

By greenlighting sales of Bovaer, which cuts cows’ digestion-related methane emissions, the FDA opened the way for incentives the Department of Agriculture is offering farmers to try the ingredient on their herds, said Paul Bleiberg, executive vice president for government relations at the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), representing farmer-owned bargaining cooperatives.

“I think there’s a lot of farmer interest in this,” Bleiberg said Wednesday. “What we’re excited about is putting the tool in people’s hands.”


The FDA said Bovaer, made by Elanco Animal Health, showed a low risk to human and animal health and cut digestion-related methane emissions, based on information submitted by the company. It’s already used in Canada and Mexico. Elanco announced the FDA’s determination in a news release, calling it “monumental.”