EFSA give thumbs up to DSM’s methane-reducing feed additive

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Justin Lambert
© GettyImages/Justin Lambert

Related tags Dsm Bovaer methane emissions EU Commission Efsa

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has found that DSM’s feed additive, 3-NOP, branded as Bovaer, reduces enteric methane emissions from dairy cows and is safe for the animal and the consumer.

The Authority also determined that there were no concerns for the environment arising out of use of the product in feed for dairy cows.

"The additive is considered to be efficacious to reduce enteric methane production when given orally at the concentration of 60 mg 3-NOP/kg DM feed (corresponding to 53 mg/kg complete feed, DM 88%) to dairy cows. This conclusion is extrapolated to all other ruminants for milk production and reproduction,"​ concluded EFSA's FEEDAP panel.

This opinion​ progresses the Bovaer EU authorization application to the final stage of approval by the EU Commission's Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF).

Such a green light, said DSM, would allow it to start European market development for the feed additive in the first half of 2022.

Ivo Lansbergen, DSM's president, animal nutrition and health, commented: "It is very timely, after the IPCC's climate change report and the recent Global Methane Pledge during COP26, that a positive opinion has been given for a feed additive that we know can have such a beneficial environmental impact. We are hopeful that the European Commission will approve the application with speed so that we can offer a scientifically proven effective answer to the challenge of farming's methane emissions."

Bovaer is the result of a decade of scientific research, including more than 50 peer-reviewed studies published in independent scientific journals and 45 on-farm trials in 13 countries across four continents.

Since receiving full regulatory approvals in Brazil and Chile for Bovaer in early September 2021, DSM has signed a development agreement with JBS, one of the world's largest food producers.

New factory

Earlier this month, the producer said it was going to build a new manufacturing plant for the methane emissions targeted feed additive at its existing manufacturing site in Dalry, Scotland. The build will be supported by Scottish Enterprise.

DSM has enough commercial product volumes of the product for near term market development. However, to prepare for anticipated further scale up in the next years, it said a new production facility is required. Initial work on the plant has already got underway, with it set to be operational in 2025.

Impact of methane emissions reduction

During the recent UN climate talks, COP26, governments of more than 100 countries pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030. 

Reducing methane emissions is crucial to reach the Paris Agreement target of maximum 1.5 degree warming, especially since methane’s warming effect is shorter lived and much more potent than carbon dioxide, according to multiple experts.

“Eliminating methane will, therefore, pay off right away,”​ stressed DSM.

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