Supplements Facing Federal Regulation, Ban

There are some regulatory rumblings that could change the way all of us feed and take care of our horses every day. Unless the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an ingredient for use in an animal feed or supplement product, it is illegal. The law is as simple as that. There are several ways companies can have non-food ingredients such as glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, ginseng, and yucca approved for inclusion in an animal supplement or food product or sold to the horse industry, but many companies have not fulfilled the regulatory requirements. Animal supplements are not covered under the same law that permits the more unfettered sale of human nutritional supplements. It should also be noted that these animal products are not allowed to make any medical claims that they can treat, prevent, or mitigate any condition or disease unless they are licensed animal drugs.

A crackdown on these products is taking shape. The FDA in conjunction with state regulatory officials have been taking a very close look at equine supplements--what they contain, how they are manufactured, and what they claim to do. Unless manufacturers are willing to go through the process of making the ingredients in their products legal, there is the very real potential that many equine supplements can and will be banned from sale to the public.

Horse owners who wish to express their views on this topic should contact their congressional representatives through

For more on this topic, see

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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