Statement from Cargill – Trace Amounts of FEI Banned Substance Found in Soothing Pink™ Product
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Statement from Cargill – Trace amounts of ractopamine found in Soothing Pink™ product May 3, 2017: Last month, two U.S. equestrian competitors – Adrienne Lyle and Kaitlin Blythe were provisionally suspended by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) after their horses tested positive for ractopamine, an additive used in cattle and swine feed to promote leanness.
Although the ingredient presents no health risks for horses, it is a banned substance in equestrian competition. These two competitors both use Cargill products, so it was important to determine if one of our products was the source of the trace ractopamine.
We have had an open dialogue with the two riders and the horse owners, Elizabeth Juliano and Maryanna Haymon, and have worked very closely with them to determine the cause of the positive test results.
Through our investigation, we identified that Progressive Nutrition® Soothing Pink™, a nutritional supplement used to prevent gastric upset, contained an ingredient that included trace amounts of ractopamine. Upon learning of this trace finding, we immediately withdrew our Progressive Nutrition® Soothing Pink™ product from the market.
At this time, we have identified and isolated the ingredient that was the source of the contamination and we have completely stopped use of the ingredient in all products.
Cargill shares a passion for equestrian sports and is proud to support these riders. We are disappointed this happened and are very sorry for the temporary uncertainty.
We are pleased that Adrienne Lyle and Kaitlin Blythe will be back competing very soon and thank them for their patience and understanding as we’ve worked through this issue with them, and we continue to support them and the owners in their efforts to address the FEI’s handling of this matter.
Progressive Nutrition® Soothing Pink™ supplement poses no risk to animal health, but consumers feeding this product to horses who are subject to competition testing are advised to stop feeding the product.
Our Soothing Pink Xtra Strength in the 21 oz. container does not include the ingredient in question and is recommended to replace the original Soothing Pink (15 lb.). Cargill stands behind our products and our riders. If anyone would like an alternate feeding recommendation or believes they have an issue they should call 888-331-6778.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ractopamine?
- Ractopamine is a medicated feed additive that is approved for use by the FDA in the U.S. for use in finishing hogs and finishing beef to improve weight gain and lean muscle production by directing feed energy to produce lean muscle tissue instead of fat. The product was tested in a research trial in horses at Texas A&M University several years ago and found to have some lean tissue benefit with no health issues. Because the product is not approved as a feed additive for horses, it is considered a prohibited substance in racing and competition along with a number of other feed additives and medications.
At what levels were ractopamine found in the product?
- The amount of ractopamine found in the product and in the horses was an extremely small amount - small enough to be measured in parts per billion (PPB). To put this amount in to context, the amount found was equivalent to one sheet in a roll of toilet paper stretching from New York to London. The level of ractopamine found in both the horses and the product would have no effect on their health or performance, but FEI has a “zero tolerance” policy on ractopamine and we respect their process.
Is ractopamine toxic to horses?
- Ractopamine is not toxic to horses, but it is considered a prohibited substance for horses in competition, in racing jurisdictions, and other competitive events. It may be detected in horses via blood or urine testing.
Is ractopamine an ionophore?
- No, ractopamine is not an ionophore.
What is the impact of ractopamine on horses?
- Ractopamine can enhance the endurance of horses and promote lean muscle development. It is a banned substance in horse competition for these reasons. It is important to note that the level of ractopamine found in these horses would have no effect on their health or performance.
What is Soothing Pink™?
- Soothing Pink™ is a nutritional supplement to promote a healthy stomach in horses prone to occasional gastric upset. Horses in training and competition are especially prone to gastrointestinal issues due to stress and therefore benefit from Soothing Pink™.
Are Soothing Pink™ supplements containing ractopamine still in the market?
- We are working with our retail and distribution partners to remove all Soothing Pink™ supplements from the supply chain. It is important to note that the level of ractopamine found in this product would not have any effect on animal health or performance, however consumers feeding this product to horses who are subject to competition testing are advised to stop feeding the product. Cargill stands behind our products and our riders. If anyone would like an alternate feeding recommendation or believes they have an issue they should call 888-331-6778.
How can you prevent this from happening again?
- Though Cargill has identified and isolated the source of contamination, we will continue to examine our production practices and standards to help prevent this kind of incident from reoccurring.
How many of your plants that manufacture horse supplements have ractopamine?
- In some cases, both Cargill and mills with which we contract manufacture products use ractopamine in the same facilities. In these cases, we follow FDA-approved good manufacturing practices to mitigate the risk of contamination.
What should I do if I have fed this product?
- Cargill stands behind our products and our riders. It is important to note that the level of ractopamine found in this product would not have any effect on animal health or performance, however consumers feeding this product to horses who are subject to competition testing are advised to stop feeding the product.
Cargill stands behind our products and our riders. If anyone would like an alternate feeding recommendation or believes they have an issue they should call 888-331-6778.
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