How the NASC is protecting equine health, one supplement company at a time

The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) is improving and standardizing the animal supplement industry by awarding their Quality Seal to companies that meet their rigorous standards.

Walk into any feed store or tack shop, and you’re likely to find a selection of equine supplements designed to help your horse live her best life. Whether you want to help her move better, feel calmer, or look like a million bucks, the product selection can be vast and often reflects trends in human dietary supplements. Today’s animal supplement industry is valued at nearly $2 billion.

What you may not realize is that animal health supplements were once in grave danger of being removed from the marketplace entirely, potentially leaving horse owners unable to obtain the products their animals relied on.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) is a statute of U.S. federal legislation that defines and regulates human dietary supplements. But the FDA declared that DSHEA didn’t apply to animal supplements despite their similarity to human products. Dietary supplements for companion animals weren’t recognized by the FDA as a class of products and instead had to be classified either as food or drugs, depending on their intended use. Products that were improperly marketed as animal food were at risk of being pulled from store shelves.

Concerned that horse owners and pet parents would soon lose access to animal health supplements, a group of small business owners in the animal supplement industry banded together in 2001 to form the non-profit National Animal Supplement Council. The NASC’s mission is to promote the health and well-being of horses and companion animals that consume supplements, and to protect and enhance the animal health supplement industry as a whole. Through close collaboration with federal and state regulators, the NASC successfully achieves self-regulation and provides a complete regulatory roadmap for members.

NASC members are responsible suppliers of animal health supplements from around the globe, and are committed to quality, vigilance and continuous improvement within their companies and the industry. The NASC Quality program provides strict guidelines for product quality assurance, adverse event reporting and labeling standards. Members must earn permission to display the Quality Seal by passing a comprehensive facility audit every two years, maintaining ongoing compliance with rigorous NASC quality standards, and passing random independent testing of their products to help ensure they are meeting label claims.

The next time you’re shopping for supplements for your horse, look for the NASC Quality Seal to know you’re purchasing from a responsible supplier. A commitment to attaining the highest standards of quality and vigilance shouldn’t be an option when it comes to your horse’s health!