Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Is a Tax on Organic Cows or an Outright Ban Coming Soon?

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024 #finance

This might seem to be a silly question, but organic cows emit more methane. The FDA approved a supplement that will cut emissions 30 percent. What’s next?

FDA Approved

Bloomberg reports FDA Approves Feed Product to Cut Dairy Cow Methane Emissions

Elanco Animal Health Inc. received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for a feed supplement that reduces methane emissions in dairy cattle by 30%, on average.

The ingredient, Bovaer, is added to cattle feed and works by suppressing a digestive enzyme that generates methane, according to the Greenfield, Indiana-based company. The FDA approval is the first for a product of its kind, and the company expects it to generate more than $200 million of revenue in the US market.

Bovaer, which is already being sold in more than 50 countries, can lead to even greater emission reductions in beef cattle, averaging a 45% cut. Elanco will also seek FDA clearance for use in US beef herds in the future, Simmons said.

Quick Fix to Reduce Cow Methane Emissions

Let’s flash back to June 2023 when this idea was first discussed. Please consider Why Won’t Companies Use This Quick Fix to Reduce Cow Methane Emissions?

A feed additive called Bovaer reduces methane from cow burps by 30%. Despite having emission-cutting goals, JBS, Danone, Nestle and Starbucks aren’t racing to use it.

“I’m puzzled why [Bovaer] hasn’t been used on a larger scale by the industry,” said Alexander Hristov, professor of dairy nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, who has studied feed additives and their impact on methane for over two decades.

One key barrier is cost. Bovaer is priced at about 30-cents per animal per day, or about $100 per year. A typical dairy cow in Western Europe will belch the equivalent of 3.5 tons of carbon dioxide a year. That means Bovaer’s 30% reduction eliminates about 1 ton of CO2 at a cost of $100. That price would be a dream scenario for the startups pulling CO2 directly out of the air—but corporations routinely spend just $5 to $10 per ton to claim emission cuts through carbon offsets (though the impact of these credits are often dubious).

The product works by stifling some of the chemical reactions that produce gas in the rumen of cows. Questions remain, however, about the extent to which cows will adapt to Bovaer and how well the methane improvements hold up over a year or two. Hristov, the Penn State scientist, is currently examining this question in a long-term study. But he and other scientists agree the product’s near-term methane reduction of about 30% is rock solid.

150 countries have signed onto a Global Methane Pledge, vowing to reduce 30% of these potent emissions by 2030. With livestock the single-biggest source of methane in many countries, this is sparking tense debates. New Zealand, for instance, has infuriated cattle ranchers by proposing a tax on livestock emissions to hit the country’s climate targets, while officials in Ireland have rankled dairy farmers by considering herd reductions as a key lever to reach its own climate goals.

Cattle emissions are equally crucial for many corporate climate pledges. Nestle SA and Starbucks Corp, for instance, have both promised to halve their climate footprints by 2030. Dairy is the single largest source of emissions for each company, and they’ve both said they’re exploring feed additives as one potential solution. Neither company, though, has moved ahead with significant efforts to use these products (both companies declined interview requests). Meanwhile, they’re both struggling to reel in their climate impacts: Since the starting point of their goals, Nestle has cut emissions 1%, while Starbucks’ climate footprint has expanded 6%.

What’s the Long-Term Human Impact?

Both of the above articles question the extent cows will adapt to it. I question how humans will adapt to traces of Bovaer over the span of 70 years.

I don’t know, I’m just wondering, which we should all given there are no stated advantages for farmers, cows, or consumers for the additive.

Safety and Efficacy of 3-Nitrooxypropanol (Bovaer® 10)

Please consider the European Food Safety Journal on the Safety and Efficacy of 3-Nitrooxypropanol (Bovaer® 10)

Following a request from the European Commission, EFSA was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety and efficacy of Bovaer® 10 as a zootechnical additive for ruminants for milk production and reproduction. Systemic exposure or site of contact toxicity for the active substance 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP), for which genotoxicity has not been fully clarified, in the target species, is unlikely based on ADME data available. Consequently, the FEEDAP Panel concluded that Bovaer® 10 was safe for dairy cows at the maximum recommended level. However, as a margin of safety could not be established, the FEEDAP Panel could not conclude on the safety of the additive for other animal species/categories. The FEEDAP Panel considered that the consumer was exposed to 3-nitrooxypropionic acid (NOPA), which is one of the 3-NOP metabolites. NOPA was not genotoxic based on the studies provided. The FEEDAP Panel concluded that the use of Bovaer® 10 in animal nutrition under the conditions of use proposed was of no concern for consumer safety and for the environment. The FEEDAP Panel concluded that the active substance 3-NOP may be harmful if inhaled. It is irritant (but not corrosive) to skin, irritant to the eyes but it is not a skin sensitiser. As the genotoxicity of 3-NOP is not completely elucidated, the exposure through inhalation of the additive may represent an additional risk for the user. The Panel concluded that the additive has a potential to be efficacious in dairy cows to reduce enteric methane production under the proposed conditions of use. This conclusion was extrapolated to all other ruminants for milk production and reproduction.

Coming Soon, 3-Nitrooxypropanol in Your Food

Gee, I can hardly wait.

As an added bonus, farmers and ranchers putting 3-Nitrooxypropanol in your food may get to sell tax credits on it, making you pay still more for grass fed organic beef and dairy products.

I do not know how safe the additive is. Nobody else does either. But I do know the reasons for the additive are dubious and it will increase prices.

I recommend the label “No 3-Nitrooxypropanol” for farmers and consumers who refuse to go along.

Expect Blackouts, Higher Prices

The lie of the day is from the EPA: Carbon capture will pay for itself (thanks to IRA subsidies). No, it won’t even with subsidies. Expect blackouts and a higher price for electricity.

For discussion, please see Biden’s New Carbon Capture Mandates Will Cause Blackouts, Increases Prices

Biden’s Solar Push Is Destroying the Desert

Also note Biden’s Solar Push Is Destroying the Desert and Releasing Stored Carbon

Experts suggest the mad rush to convert desert to subsidized solar panels may be releasing mass amounts of stored carbon while simultaneously destroying archeological sites in the process.

EPA Awards $50 Million to Group that Says Palestine is a ‘Climate Justice Issue’

On May 23, I noted EPA Awards $50 Million to Group that Says Palestine is a ‘Climate Justice Issue’

The Inflation Reduction Act strikes again. The beneficiary is a group of radical nut cases. The loser is you, the taxpayer.

In the Name of Progress, Biden Will Take Away Your Truck

On March 22, 2024, I noted In the Name of Progress, Biden Will Take Away Your Truck

And finally, please consider Biden Wants EVs so Badly That He Will Quadruple Tariffs on Them

Astute readers will immediately notice the title of the last link above makes no sense. It’s not supposed to. But it is exactly what President Biden is doing.

None of this makes any sense.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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