Natural digestive aid for cattle is made from a red seaweed proven in trials to reduce enteric methane emissions by more than 80%

May 9, 2022

2 Min Read

Blue Ocean Barns has announced that the California Department of Food and Agriculture has authorized commercial use of the company's seaweed-based supplement as a digestive aid for cattle.

The firm says the decision followed a highly successful trial at Straus Organic Dairy Farm in Marin County, the largest and longest yet conducted with seaweed and dairy cows. CDFA's Safe Animal Feed Education Program provided technical assistance, feed sampling and analysis during the trial.

Brominata is a variety of red seaweed proven in published scientific trials to promote higher energy yield from the digestion of hay and grasses and to reduce cows' methane emissions by 80% or more. The livestock industry has long needed a feed additive to reduce the wasted energy that cattle naturally burp into the atmosphere. Over the past four years, multiple studies by major universities have shown that the supplement is safe for cows and doesn't change the chemistry or taste of milk or meat.

Following the Straus trial, Blue Ocean Barns' independent conclusion that the product is Generally Recognized as Safe was reviewed by California's Commercial Feed Regulatory Program and Livestock Drug Program. Those two programs have regulatory oversight and authority over all commercial livestock feeds and livestock drugs/remedies sold within or into the state. CDFA issued a "No Objections Letter" and granted provisional certificates of registration for both the certified organic and nonorganic formulations of Brominata, approving both labels under the state's Livestock Drug Program.

Animal scientists for decades have tested a number of feed additives — garlic, lemongrass, as well as synthetic ingredients — aimed at reducing methane outputs from cow burps. Those emissions account for about 4% of all greenhouse gas produced globally each year. But none of those other supplements reduced nearly the amount of greenhouse gas as the red seaweed called Asparagopsis taxiformis; still, that seaweed has never been cultivated at scale despite the need to feed the supplement to nearly 100 million cows in the United States and about 1.5 billion worldwide. Blue Ocean Barns solved the problem of growing at scale and began ramping up production on a commercial level beginning in 2020 to serve Straus Family Creamery and other farm families throughout the state.

Source: Blue Ocean Barns, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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