On November 20, 2018, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium submitted a proposed amendment to the ARCI Endogenous Dietary or Environmental Substances Schedule concerning Morphine.
On November 29, 2018, Dr. Clara Fenger of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians took issue with the RMTC proposal and emailed their objection as well as an attached study to be considered.
The Members of the ARCI Scientific Advisory Group were asked to comment on this issue. Two member have responded to date: Dr. Stanley and Dr. Tobin. In addition, the RMTC was asked to provide additional documentation and Dr. Rick Arthur provided a document from the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities.
Dr. Tobin’s submissions follow:
Dr. Arthur wrote: “The RMTC’s recommendation for morphine is based on the IFHA’s Recommendations for Control of Feed Contaminants and Environmental Substances which is attached. IFHA recommendations are rigorously considered scientifically and are shared with both AORC chemists and IGSRV regulatory veterinarians for comments before adoption. I really don’t have time to pull out the background information before ARCI, but I sit on the IFHA Advisory Council on Prohibited Substances. They take their work seriously.
These could be considered minimum screening limit recommendations. Some racing authorities may internally set higher screening limits as they do in parts of Australasia where natural poppy plants get into feed supplies. Screening below this level would be unwise -which is the main point of the recommendation. Morphine at 30 ng/ml in urine is a scientifically defensible screening limit for feed contaminants and environmental exposure. Conversely, any higher screening limit would be arbitrary.”
The IFHA document provided by Dr. Arthur follows:
Dr. Scott Stanley’s email and explanation follows: