First Equine Product Tested by Passes

An independent testing laboratory results provider,, recently announced that GLC 5500 glucosamine/chondroitin equine powder concentrate passed the company's testing criteria. According to president Tod Cooperman, MD, this was the first equine product tested through the program.

Products were tested for the following:

  • Identity: Does the product meet recognized standards of quality and does the product meet the level of quality claimed on the label?
  • Strength (quantity): Does the product contain the amount of ingredient claimed on the label?
  • Purity: Is the product free of common contaminants?
  • Availability: Does the product break apart properly so that it may be used by the body?, which started in 1999 testing human products prior to entering the pet/companion animal field, does not test for absorption of the product.

Since its inception, has tested nearly 2,000 products, according to Cooperman, with one out of four having problems. "Most don't contain the amount of product they state (on the label)," he said, "and some contain heavy metals or don't disintegrate properly."

While animal supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are not as high a priority as human supplements.

Cooperman said he finds problems more frequently with animal products than human products. "That's an area that has really been flying below the radar," he said. "We have found problem with about half of the products designed for animals--twice the failure rate that we see with products for people."

Both of the joint supplements (for dogs) that selected failed testing. One product contained 2% of the chondroitin claimed on the label, and the other had less than 1% of the chondroitin listed. Cooperman explained that chondroitin is the more expensive ingredient, so it is more likely to be shorted.

However, Cooperman said three other veterinary products tested at the request of their distributors through's Voluntary Certification Program passed testing, including Cosequin for dogs (powder in capsule) and two GLC products in powder form--one for horses and the other for dogs. In the voluntary program, there is a testing fee paid by the manufacturer and results are proprietary to the manufacturer. However, if a product "Passes," it may appear in CL's Web site listing of the respective Product Review with a footnote indicating that it was tested through the Voluntary Certification Program. A product that "Passes" is also eligible to carry the CL Seal of Approval.

"Based on what we have found testing supplements for animals, including joint supplements, multivitamins, and omega-3 fatty acid products, it's a buyer beware marketplace." Cooperman surmised. "I encourage people to choose products verified through third-party testing."

Manufacturers and distributors should contact Lisa Sabin ( if they wish to be alerted to upcoming Product Review categories or want their products tested.

If a manufacturer seeks to use the CL Seal of Approval, the product will be tested for the company's criteria every 12 months based on a random sample purchased on the open market.

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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