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#6: Arsenic-Laced Chicken


Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker (i.e. “fresher”). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated these products are safe because they contain organic arsenic, which is less toxic than the other inorganic form, which is a known carcinogen.

Where it’s banned: The European Union

The problem is, scientific reports surfaced stating that the organic arsenic could transform into inorganic arsenic, which has been found in elevated levels in supermarket chickens. The inorganic arsenic also contaminates manure where it can eventually migrate into drinking water and may also be causing heightened arsenic levels in US rice.

In 2011, Pfizer announced it would voluntarily stop marketing its arsenic-based feed additive Roxarsone, but there are still several others on the market. Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the FDA calling for their removal from the market. In the European Union, meanwhile, arsenic-based compounds have never been approved as safe for animal feed.

Answer Question

Asked by fiatpax at 2:16 PM on Sep. 22, 2013 in Health

Level 46 (221,572 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Chicken Terrifies me, all the additives

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 2:19 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • I know that some rawhide products for dogs contain arsenic as a result of the tanning process. The arsenic can build up in the systems of dogs and poison them over time, so it stands to reason that the same thing could happen with humans from arsenic-fed chickens. Scary As for rawhide products, I don't use them at all for my pets, but if you do, make sure the label says "Made in the USA" because arsenic and formaldehyde aren't used in tanning ... it's kind of funny that it's allowed in our food supply!

    Answer by Ballad at 3:35 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • Yuck! I think it's just about time to reconsider farm life. As hard as it is, at least I would know where my food would be coming from.

    Answer by May-20 at 4:54 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • But it tastes so good. Esp. on the grill! ;p

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:57 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • so...all meat is evil eh? unless you spend 10x as much for half as much? i guess its eat nothing but veggies and die, or eat meat and die. i'll take the meat thanks.

    Answer by okmanders at 8:37 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

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