The company said molasses supplied to Gain Equine Feeds by an international supplier were the source of the banned substance, zilpaterol, which was detected in some of its equine feed products following tests by the French horseracing governing body, France Galop, on urine samples from racehorses.
“Following the confirmation on Friday, October 2 that traces of zilpaterol were present in some equine feed batches, Gain undertook a forensic investigation. This [probe] swiftly and accurately pinpointed molasses as the source of the issue. A recall of the affected batches of molasses has now been initiated by the supplier, ED & F Man,” said Louise Hogan, spokesperson for Gain Animal Nutrition’s parent company, Glanbia.
Last Saturday, that molasses supplier issued an urgent action and recall notice that named some products supplied by ED&F Man Liquid Products Ireland Ltd as suspected of having contained minute traces of zilpaterol.
“Although the initial levels detected are extremely low, the substance in question is banned in the European Union,” according to the announcement.
Gain has now switched molasses supplier; it did so on Monday, October 5. It has also resumed production of equine feed following consultation with the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
Meanwhile, DAFM has confirmed that, following rigorous testing, all Gain ruminant feed products that were temporarily placed on precautionary hold could now be released for sale.
In terms of insights gleaned from this incident for the Irish animal nutrition company, the Glanbia spokesperson told us: “The Gain team have been conducting a thorough examination and analysis [of events] since this issue first emerged. As always, we take all incidents extremely seriously and will capture and act upon any key learnings that emerge.”