Deadly horse feed still for sale; ADM Alliance refuses to pull the feed

Another brand of horse feed is suspected in the death of three horses on an equestrian farm in South Carolina. Despite testing that showed the feed to be contaminated with a deadly additive, ADM Alliance Nutrition has yet to issue a recall and the feed that likely killed them remains on the shelf.

The deadly feed  — ADM Alliance 12% Pellets [Patriot 12% Supreme Performance Horse Feeds] — believed to have killed the horses last month at Camelot Farms Equestrian Center tested positive for monensin oxide, a supplement used in cattle feed that is poisonous to horses.

Despite testing at the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at Michigan State University that came back positive for monensin, ADM says they are still “investigating these allegations”and claim they “have not received any other reports or complaints about monensin in our horse feed.”

Camelot Farms owners believe the tainted feed came from 70 bags they purchased in late November from G&G Feed & Seed in Beaufort. Incredibly, the deadly feed was still for sale at the store and it even a small amount of monensin can permanently weaken a horses heart. No word yet on how many other retail locations in the U.S. that also might be selling the deadly feed.

Mark Kennedy, the farm owner, said he fed 45 of 48 horses with the tainted feed for two-and-a-half weeks. Another horse is seriously ill and will likely be euthanized and more are likely to become ill and die as the weeks go by, even though the Kennedys say that so far no other horse at the farm are is currently exhibiting any symptoms.

Since the deaths, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture took samples of the feed and said the agency plans “to test for another deadly toxin, mycotoxin” instead. Apparently, the agency doesn’t have the equipment to test for monensin.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also involved in the investigation and despite having the legal authority to issue a Class I recall based on the deadly nature of the contaminated feed, one has not been issued. All the FDA would say is they are aware of the situation “and looking into it.”

ADM Alliance representatives also visited the farm before Christmas to collect samples, but have declined to share the test results with the Kennedys or the public.

The Camelot Farms deaths are similar to another recent Florida case of contaminated feed and dying horses. Since October, six horses have died at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Florida and another 16 are sick and most of them are expected to die. The deaths are blamed on feed tainted with the same supplement, monensin.

Recently, the farm settled with the feed manufacturer, Lakeland Animal Nutrition. Unlike ADM, the Lakeland company recalled their contaminated horse feed, and stopped production of equine feed all together.

ADM will likely face a costly settlement, because when the Kennedys noticed the parallels in the Lakeland Animal Nutrition case, they called the attorney for the Masterpiece Equestrian Center to discuss their next step.

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (35) Write a comment

  1. I have known for sometime now that ADM products for feed for cows and horses are produced and baged in the same facility utilizing the same production line for many years..it has happened in the past were cow feed ingredients have mixed with horse feed ingredients …it is morally inexcusable to continue this way of operation .. a law suit now and then is less harmful to profit lose than changing cooperating practices.. It’s corporate America at work…

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  2. Some that are posting on here really need to get in touch with the world we live in. Companies are only interested in taking our money. They don’t care if the horses die, they are going to quietly remove the feed, deny any contiminations, settle with the farm and have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. We live in a greed filled world and this is how most of the problems are solved in these situations. Can’t call this story a hoax just because you want to believe in the “greater good” of corporate America.

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  3. I will no longer be feeding ADM. I just recently had THREE horses pass away suddenly from heart failure within days of feeding ADM’s JR. Glo. All of them were young( two and under )and healthy. I’m NOT saying ADM feed killed them. However all my other horses are on a different feed and are fine. I will be sending my feed in to be tested.

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  4. I have fed ADM Patriot 12% for 5 years and will continue to do so. I worked in pharmaceutical research/veterinary end of it and we did testing all the time. There is nothing in hard factual writing that shows the feed was poisoned. If the feed did test positive, the company would have been shut down temp. and the whole lot of the feed would have been pulled/recalled. No where in the article does it state that it was lot# bag#, which would have been the first thing the company, lawyers and all involved would have wanted to know. I agree with the person above that thanks this is a hoax, I have see people who not knowing any better have fed their horses an all stock type of feed, you must look and make sure that the feed your going to feed does not contain bovalein or any type of additives that are made for rumanutes. (cow, sheep, goat – multi segment stomaches)

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  5. NO IT IS NOT A HOAX! CHECK EVENTING NATION, THERE IS A FARM IN GEORGIA WHERE EVENTING HORSES ARE ALSO POISONED BY THE SAME FEED!

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  6. If you are looking for a safe alternative look at Thrive horse feed. It is made from grasses not grains. Therefore better for your horse. If you want to see how good it is & where to get it check out Rainbow Meadows Horse rescue & retirement. Works wonders even on starving horses.

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  7. There is no recall on this feed. Please check the USDA recalls before you spread internet hearsay.

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  8. I have given my horses this feed for 3 years now until today my gelding started having bad diarrhea called bet no sand now my mare is sick I believe it is the adm 12/6 I am pissed this should of been recalled !!!! It is better to pull it them allow more horses to die !!!

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  9. I will never buy ADM products for my horses due to their reaction! I almost lost my best show mare 18 years ago due to a bad bag of Purina Omolene, and she aborted the foal she was carrying.

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  10. Is it just the 12%? I usually mix it with oats but use the 14 or 16% feed. I havent been out to my mill so they havent had it since mid December.

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  11. How long before horses show symptoms and what should I look for. We had used this feed the last 3 months. Just recently ran out and just seen this post tonight. I had all 14 of ours on it

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    • These articles are all cut and copied from each other. And they’re going off of what this barn says. Not proof. ADM says the test came up negative and now it’s become a legal issue of tainted food vs slander. They still can’t produce proof that this was the cause…and if they could the FDA would have already recalled it. A father of one of my students is a very succesful rep for them and I know for a fact that he is still feeding it to his horses.

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    • Symptoms are dependent on the level of contamination. I suggest calling your vet for precise information. ADM claims their feed is not contaminated and that their testing showed no monensin contamination.

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      • Actually it’s not up to adm, IF there was a positive result anywhere then fda would have issued a recall. Out of adm’s hands.

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        • I believe my comment was deleted too…?

          Go to thehorse.com ADM has released their statement.

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  12. Before you write do you have these things verified? Or are you going completely based on hear-say? This has been all over FB and has people all over the country worried. The people at ADM are adamant that the test came up negative. They’ve tested themselves. If there was a chance it was dangerous wouldn’t they have pulled it or suggested to stop feeding it just in case?

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    • At this point it’s in ADM’s hands on how best to handle the situation. They claim their tests came up negative for monensin yet MSU testing said the feed was contaminated. MSU is one of the premier labs in the country. I am a journalist and it is my job to write about what is in the news – it is not up to me to decide who is telling the truth or not. I base my articles on the facts as they are presented in the media.

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      • Mollie. This case is obviously a hoax. No one is calling for a recall of any brand of feed in this case; not Camelot Farms, not their lawyers, not the USDA, not the SCDA, no one. The only possible reason for this fact is that here is no credible evidence of any kind to suggest contaminated feed. If there is a lot of contaminated feed out there, and these people know it, then they are morally obligated to mitigate further damage by presenting evidence and calling for a recall. To let other horses die just because “lawyers are involved” or to wait for “hard copy” test results would be monstrous. Either they are fooling themselves about contaminated feed or they are monsters. I much prefer to believe the former. Journalists do not just report what people say, they check facts. Have you seen any test result that links any feed to any poison that might possibly be related to this case? Did you ask why no one is calling for a recall? Their claim about “ADM Allliance 12% pellets” does not even identify a specific brand. They claim to have tested their hay and it was “clear”. There is no such test for hay. I cannot find any truth in this story except that the horses at Camelot Farms are will cared for. That I do believe.

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      • Mollie, could you please post any literature from MSU that shows anything about a positive test to this story?

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  13. Is there a batch or serial # for this feed batch or batches? Please advise as I have fed my mare this feed since July 2014.

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