Home > Consumer > US: Are You Eating Arsenic With Your Chicken?

14/6/11  www.greenprophet.com

Maurice Picow

Looks ‘finger lickin good’; but how much arsenic is inside?

Issues over whether the poison arsenic is being fed to commercial poultry in many countries, has now come to a head again with the USA’s Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) has now admitted that amounts of the cancer causing poison arsenic is being fed to chickens as part of the commercial poultry feed products given to them. The revelation first became known a few years back (around 2006) and was later reported in both Haaretz (arsenic in chicken feed in Israel), and in Green Prophet, regarding free KFC fried chicken giveaways being promoted on Oprah Winfrey’s own website. With the meat glue scare, and the E.coli outbreak in Europe, how safe is our food?

 

Arsenic in eggs as well?

The arsenic is given to rid the poultry of certain parasites. But in doing do, the poison accumulates in the meat and fat of the fowl, and likewise when ingested by humans. The disclosure has already resulted in a popular poultry feed containing  Roxosone, a drug made by Pfizer being taken off the market.

How much arsenic accumulation is needed to cause cancers in humans is still being studied, however. It would probably take a long time build up of the compound, to become poisonous, and when doing do, it has to be converted to what is called inorganic arsenic, that finds its way into the very ground water we drink and is very poisonous.

Although the addition of arsenic was supposedly banned in Israel following a number of media revelations on its allowance for use by poultry farmers by the agricultural ministry, its use may still be ongoing in poultry farms where the feed or chickens themselves are not periodically checked. Laws are important, but enforcing them hard.

Another disturbing factor, at least in the USA, is the revelation that processed chicken droppings, or poop, containing inorganic arsenic (the poisonous type) are being fed to feedlot cattle, which causes arsenic buildup in beef products as well.

The poultry producers probably assume that as long as the chicken flesh doesn’t “taste like bitter almonds” like in the play Arsenic and Old Lace,  everything will be cool. But will it be?

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