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Feed news: CFIA has approved 3-NOP. Now what?

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April 3, 2024
By Bree Rody

Earlier this year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced approval for 3-Nitrooxypropanol (3NOP), a livestock feed ingredient for cattle. Described as a game-changing, first-of-its-kind methane inhibitor, 3NOP’s properties are said to aid in the reduction of methane emitted through cow burbs by up to 50 per cent.

More than a decade’s worth of research has gone into the process of bringing 3NOP to Canada.

CFIA’s approval includes some “small editorial and translation adjustments” for the product’s caution warnings, which is based on lack of information concerning intact male ruminants intended for breeding. Although 3NOP is not approved for all ruminants at the time, it has extended the caution warnings to include “male ruminants intended for breeding” rather than “male cattle intended for breeding” for added clarity.

Who’s cheering?


The approval has seen support from the industry and associations. The Canadian Cattle Association, based in Alberta, expressed excitement at the decision, stating that this will play a vital part in Canada’s beef sector to meet its 2030 emission reduction goals, for which the association says it is currently on target.

“We are very pleased to see the regulatory pathway open for innovative feed ingredients that reduce methane missions which will contribute to our sector meeting its 2030 emissions goal,” said Nathan Phinney, CCA president, in a statement. “We applaud the CFIA for their diligence on this file to ensure this new tool is available, which will allow Canadian beef producers to remain competitive globally.”

Echoing the positive sentiments was the National Cattle Feeders Association: “The National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) have consistently advocated for new innovations such as methane-reducing feed ingredients to be available in Canada, as they are in other jurisdictions, including those of our global competitors,” the association wrote. Alberta Beef Producers also shared the news on its association news site, ABP Daily.

What’s still unknown?

Approval and commercial development are not the same, and thus it is hard to say when any products incorporating 3NOP as an ingredient will hit shelves. Also not yet tested is any economic benefit from adding 3NOP as an ingredient; AAFC research scientist Tim McAllister was quoted in the Calgary Herald as saying there is some evidence that 3NOP improves feed efficiency, but that evidence is not yet conclusive. Efficiency is largely regarded as a major factor for adoption, and thus how quickly 3NOP actually becomes a game-changer is yet to be determined.

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