Horse News

Author of Bute Artical Blasts Wallis’ Letter as “Nonsense”

Article by Steven Long ~ Editor/Publisher of Horseback Magazine

Equine Terrorist Way Off the Mark

Dr. Ann Marini, MD, PhD speaking at the International Equine Conference in D.C. ~ photo by Terry Fitch

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The chief author of a landmark paper published in a prestigious medical journal has spoken out offering a definitive defense of the document. Dr. Ann Marini, MD, PhD, called a letter published by a pro horse slaughter group, United Horsemen, “nonsense.”

At issues is paper titled, “Association of Phenylbutazone (Bute) Usage with Horses Bought for Slaughter” and was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology authored by Marini and Nicolas Dodman, a veterinary anesthesiologist at Tufts University, Nicolas Blondeau, The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (France) and Dr. Marini, of the faculty of the Washington D.C. based Department of Neurology, Uniformed University of the Health Sciences, operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The critics are all equine science instructors from the agriculture departments of three small colleges and universities. They are William Day, PhD of Morristown State College, Sheryl King PhD, PAS, of Southern Illinois State University, Don Henneke, PhD of Tarlton State University, and Pat Evans EdD of Scottsdale Community College.

The letter was distributed by a second term state representative from a rural village who claims to represent the entire horse industry. Rep. Sue Wallis (R) of Recluse, WY (pop 13), is the nation’s most outspoken proponent of reopening U.S. horse slaughter plants, shut down after Congress refused to fund federal meat inspectors in such facilities, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear challenges to state laws in Texas and Illinois outlawing them.

“None of them have a medical background, and it seems clear they don’t understand drug depository of materials and excretion,” Dr. Marini said in an exclusive interview with Horseback Magazine. “There is a certain amount of every drug that is ingested that remains in the body.”

Marini cited long ago research that led to a total ban of the use of phenalbutazone (bute) in all food animals. The findings showed that “patients were taking phenalbutazone and developed agranulocysis and aplastic anemia and died,” Marini said. “This is the basis of why the FDA banned pnenalbutazone in all food animals including horses.”

“It is a carcinogen that causes cancer in lab animals and also causes a liver hypersensitivity syndrome that’s fatal,” she told Horseback. “Bute is shown to produce serum sickness like syndrome that results in fever, fatigue, malaise, and inflammation of the kidney, swollen glands, and an enlarged spleen. A person can end up on dialysis for the rest of their life.”

“Drug residues in horsemeat that is ingested may be enough for people to develop these illnesses,” Marini said.

The Washington physician also pointed to a recent article in an Irish journal showing a relationship to the development of aplastic anemia in children.

“This is an idiosyncratic disorder,” she said. “No one can predict who is going to develop the disease. The letter is really nonsense. That is the reason the FDA bans bute in all food producing animals including horses.”

19 replies »

  1. This is the same reason that the American Pet Products Association (APPA) has banned horse meat from pet food since the 1970’s.

    What Americans won’t feed their dogs, Sue Wallis wants to feed to people. ‘Nuff said.


    • Yep, because god forbid they have to take responsibility for the horses in their care, and humanly euthanize them, if need be. Don’t cha know that costs more than selling them to slaughter? And how can they actually say “Humane euthanasia, whether it is done at the veterinarian’s facility, the owner’s facility, or the slaughter facility, is not an easy decision to make. We believe that the decision should be left up to the individual horse owner.” Humane euthanasia at the slaughter facility????


  2. “There is a certain amount of every drug that is ingested that remains in the body.”
    BigAg HATES it when you say that. But we can still feed millions of dollars worth of antibiotics to our food animals, right?
    Sure we can!


    • “Regarding the antimicrobials used in food production systems, some are the same as those used in people, but some are not. There are strict federal regulations that govern the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals, including the specific antimicrobials that can be used. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving antimicrobials and other medications for use in animals, including antimicrobials that may be added to the feed (considered a form of oral administration) of food-producing animals.”

      Horses are not raised as food-producing animals…..

      Not to negate the seriousness of antimicrobial medication use in food-production animals, but the consumers of American horsemeat need to know about the lack of regulation of their foodsource.


  3. What Dr Marini did, with others was to document something that has NEVER been documented. Along with information from the 1930s/1940s of administered Bute for humans, Dr Marini et al (and the folks that helped behind the scenes to pull this study off) did some unprecedented research here.

    Good job, Dr M and team.


  4. It has to be said: Please –would someone with a litle moral fiber, and an ounce of intelligence please run for public office. We the people… go to work each day and rely on our decision-makers to make good decisions–for us, our families and the planet. You can’t fix “stupid”–but don’t vote them into office!
    Thanks Dr. Marini– this “horse meat” issue should finally be at rest.
    (I suppose SS will read it and ask about the temperature for cooking the meat to get rid of residuals).


  5. Ann,
    I could not agree more. Of all the virtues, Winston Churchill and C. S. Lewis agree, courage is the most important. Without courage, what good are intelligence, compassion, generosity, loyalty, and the rest?


  6. Slaughterhouse Sue exposed as evil and malicious liar(surely not)!It’s about time she has been publically exposed for spewing lies and misinformation,to people who did not know what she was really like!I can tell you though that the real Horse people already knew this stuff and have been trying to spread the word only to be verbally and viciously attacked by Wallace’s so called group!


  7. I will say one thing for Wallis..she is stubborn isn’t she? Just won’t come to terms with or admit to the fact that the FDA know’s more than she does about this issue…Talk about delusional???? And people believe her……

    What is confusing to me is how is it not a conflict of interest when one is a state representative (obviously with a clear advantage over the average person or grass roots organization) and is able to lobby her personally to abolish the law that forbids the funding of USDA inspections of horse meat when her clear goal is to open a horse slaughter business so she can reap the wealth she sees in it? I am scratching my head and have been for a long time.


  8. What a pathetic and pitiful attempt by Sue to shoot down the facts of the health dangers of eating horse meat. With no science and with “experts” that have no real credentials she attempts to bluff her way into believability. Sorry Sue but the USDA and people with real credentials shot down your arguments before you even were able to scrape bottom looking for scientific rebuttal to facts that can’t be rebutted. Wake up Sue. You’re wrong and pathetic.


  9. It is not to us SS directs her clarifications. We have been informed by Sen Moran (Sen or Rep can’t remember off the top of my head) – we have to take these communications to our representatives. They are who these simpleton arguments are filtering through to. And simple enough to be believable. And who is going to research the authors of the rebuke to discover one has a background as a groom.


  10. I love it because it seems like the horse slaughter people never give up. Sheryl King of Southern Illinois University has been a proponet since we closed the slaughter plant in Illinois. The last I knew this woman was in charge of the Equine program at the University. She always sat with Cavel (the operators of the slaughter plant) and also testified for them during the committee meetings. You would think that somone who was in charge of an university equine program would have different views. She knows where the money flows..What a disappointment for our state university. I guess birds of a feather stick together….Interesting she is surfacing again to promote slaughter, especially since her degree is not in animal husbandry or any other degree regarding animals. I also thought that the zoos and animal parks were not using the meat because of the possible carcinagens in the meat. I agree with Arlene and the other posts in thanking Dr Marini for very important information. Louie, you always try and keep us informed regarding the adoption of the Triple B captives. Although I would be a lot happier if they were being released into the wild. Does anyone know how that call in with Obama went? Were the horses every mentioned? Did you see the post on American Wild Horse Preseravation? Willie Nelson and his family are going forward for the Wild Horses and Burros with a new song. We need more celebraties to take interest in saving them before its too late.


  11. Because we are trying to be honest and ethical, we may be a little behind our more cunning counterparts who seem to have some friends with powerful connections in Congress who give them access to information six months before everyone else.

    However, when it comes to trying to argue with the excellent, peer reviewed research done by Dr. Marini, these folks really ought to quit. They are, as we say in sports, out of their league.


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