NMPF called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use existing legal authority to modernize its regulations allowing for faster approval of animal-feed additives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, submitting comments to the agency recently that highlighted the need for urgent action to enhance dairy’s role as a climate solution.
“Innovative and voluntary solutions are needed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including methane,” shared Dr. Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s chief science officer, in the comments. “Enteric emissions directly from cows currently account for roughly one third of all GHG emissions from dairy farms and present an important area of opportunity for methane reductions. Feed composition changes can directly or indirectly reduce enteric emissions resulting from livestock.”
While animal-feed additives are a promising path toward a net-zero future for dairy as outlined in industry goals, the pace of their approval lags that of competitors such as the European Union due to current FDA processes. By streamlining bureaucracy and allowing feed-additives to be treated as foods rather than as drugs, the United States can maintain and advance its global leadership in sustainability, Jonker wrote.
Through the U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative, a collaboration across dairy organizations, dairy-farm research is advancing new technology and new market development opportunities to make sustainability practices more accessible and affordable to farms of all sizes, including enteric methane reduction.
“One of the greatest opportunities that exists for U.S. dairy farmers is their ability to provide real solutions to many of today’s biggest environmental challenges like GHG emissions,” Jonker wrote. “Embracing new practices and technologies is key to making America’s dairy farmers an environmental solution while providing wholesome and nutritious dairy products to the U.S. and the world.”
For more on how dairy is advancing its stewardship and best practices, visit the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program’s Environmental Stewardship page.
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce more than two-thirds of U.S. milk, making NMPF dairy’s voice on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more, visit www.nmpf.org.