Feed supplement additive MSM has been removed from the FEI’s prohibited substance list after a U-turn by the international federation.

Confusion had been caused by the inclusion of MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane), under its seldom-used alias dimethy sulphone (DSM), on the FEI’s list as a controlled medication and specified substance from 1 January next year.

The FEI told H&H in June that the naturally occurring substance, which is found in many plants and widely used in equine feed and supplements, is also the major metabolite of banned chemical DMSO, or the substance into which this solvent is broken down in the body.

A spokesman said high levels of MSM could “indicate abuse of DMSO that would be detectable for a longer time after administration”, but that it was unlikely that its therapeutic use at normal levels would cause a positive test.

But after the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA) “extensive lobbying”, supported by leading supplement manufacturer NAF, the FEI has this week released an update to its prohibited substances, stating that MSM is to be removed from the list.

“The BETA feed committee provided extensive technical evidence to support our belief that defining MSM in this way could have had a significant and potentially negative impact on the industry,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“We are delighted that our challenge proved compelling enough for the FEI to reconsider its decision and change the list.”

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NAF founder and chairman Richard Cleeve told H&H: “We are delighted that the FEI has come to the right conclusion and we’re very happy that MSM can continue to be fed as an approved supplement.

“Thank you to the team at NAF and the BETA feed committee for their efforts in yielding this result.”

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