Ethanol waste as livestock feed

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed a draft policy on feeding livestock distillers grains (DG, or DGGS), a byproduct from the production of fuel ethanol. The policy allows the CFIA to interpret and apply pre-existing regulations based on feeding the byproduct of distilling alcohol made for human consumption. This approach to regulation complies with the federal government’s Smart Regulation policy.

The CFIA identified several concerns regarding the use of fuel-grade ethanol waste for feed, including:

  • the concentration of toxins from grain contaminated by fungal diseases,
  • the use of antibiotics not approved for animal feed, and
  • the use of genetically engineered (novel) ingredients.

Beyond Factory Farming identified additional concerns, such as:

  • the increase in phosphorus levels in manure,
  • increased quantities of manure excreted due to lower digestibility of DG,
  • the increased incidence of toxic e coli 0157,
  • the increased potential for antibiotic superbugs to evolve and enter the food system,
  • the bias towards larger feedlots for use of DG due to infrastructure requirements,
  • increased greenhouse gas emissions from cattle fed DG due to higher levels of methane produced during digestion

Beyond Factory Farming submitted [comments on the draft policy](BFF submission to CFIA), and [further comments](June 16 comments)on the revised draft policy.