European Union (EU) member states approved today (Wednesday, February 23) the marketing in the EU of an innovative feed additive, proposed by the European Commission, which could reduce methane emissions by as much as 35%.

The additive, Bovaer 10, consisting of 3‐nitrooxypropanol, will help to reduce the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), from cows. 

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “Innovation is key for a successful shift towards a more sustainable food system.

“The EU continues to lead the way in ensuring food safety while adapting to new technologies that can make food production more sustainable.

“Cutting farming-related methane emissions is key in our fight against climate change and today’s approval is a very telling example of what we can achieve through new agricultural innovations,” she added.

Feed additive to reduce methane 

The product went through a stringent scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority which concluded that it is beneficial in reducing methane emissions by cows for milk production.

Once the decision is adopted by the European Commission over the coming months, the feed additive will be the first of its kind available on the EU market

The commission said that this innovative product will contribute to the greening of the EU’s agriculture.

In terms of the objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy, it has been estimated that it will cut methane emissions in dairy cows by between 20% and 35%, without affecting production.

The comission said that its use is safe for cows and consumers, and does not impact the quality of the dairy products.

A 2021 report from the UN Environment Programme concluded livestock emissions – from manure and gastro-enteric releases – account for roughly a third of human-caused methane emissions.