WASHINGTON- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Nov. 6 the approval of a new tool that could help control ammonia emissions from feedlot waste.

The agency approved Experior (lubabegron Type A medicated article), a beta-adrenergic agonist/antagonist drug that, when the product is fed to beef cattle under specific conditions, results in less ammonia gas released as a by-product of their waste.

The FDA said in a statement that “Ammonia gas emissions can come from many sources, including the manure of beef cattle. Ammonia gas emissions are a concern because they have been implicated in atmospheric haze and noxious odors. High concentrations of ammonia can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat in both humans and animals.”

The agency also stated that ammonia gases can contribute to a process called eutrophication, in which bodies of water become enriched with excess nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorous.

“Studies of Experior indicated that the product partially reduces ammonia gas emissions from manure from an individual animal or a pen of animals in semi-controlled conditions in enclosed housing,” read the FDA statement. “The studies did not measure ammonia gas emissions on a herd or farm scale and could not take into account other factors that may affect ammonia gas emissions, such as wind speed and direction, rainfall, weather, input from other nitrogen sources and manure management. Therefore, extrapolation to the herd, farm or larger scale could not be accurately or reliably predicted.”

The FDA also explained that the gathered studies showed that Experior had no health benefit or performance advantage in beef cattle, including weight gain or feed efficiency.

The drug is administered to beef steers and heifers in confinement for slaughter during the last 14-91 days on feed.