Popular feed additive is
FEI U-turn means ingredient is no longer banned for competition horses
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AN FEI U-turn on the banning of a popular feed-supplement ingredient has been met with “delight” by those who campaigned for the change.
The international federation has removed MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane) from its prohibited substances list from 1 January 2018, after extensive lobbying by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), supported by supplement manufacturer NAF.
The inclusion of MSM — a naturally occurring substance found in many plants and widely used in equine feed and supplements — as a controlled medication, and specified substance from 2018, had caused confusion (news 22 June).
The FEI said at the time
MSM was the major metabolite of banned chemical DMSO, the substance into which this solvent is broken down in the body, and so high levels of it could indicate abuse of DMSO.
“We put in a strong case for the removal of the substance from the list and we are delighted that we have been successful in putting a case forward that was convincing enough to cause the FEI to change the list,” BETA executive director
Claire Williams told H&H.
“While they may have assured us it would have little effect on the supplementary feeding of MSM to horses, I think we were all aware that, had it been confirmed, it could have had a significant and potentially negative impact on the feed industry, and feeding horses.
“With particular thanks to the BETA feed committee for putting together the technical evidence required for a convincing case, I have also thanked Sandra Hill from the BEF for their support.”
NAF founder Richard Cleeve is “delighted the FEI has come to the right conclusion”.
“We’re very happy MSM can continue to be fed as an approved supplement,” he added. “Thank you to the team at NAF and the BETA feed committee for their efforts in yielding this result.”
MSM is a source of sulphur, which is important in maintaining collagen and cartilage.
An FEI spokesman said: “The prohibited substance list is revised by experts who propose changes once a year. The FEI bureau approved the recommendation to remove [MSM].”
The banning of MSM had caused confusion