Some chicken could have small amounts of harmful arsenic. The Food and Drug
Administration says somechicken meat may contain small amounts of arsenic, though
the agency is stressing that the amount is too low to be dangerous.
The FDA said Wednesday that a new study developed by the agency shows that an
ingredient in chicken feed contains arsenic, called Roxarsone, may make its way
into parts of the bird that are eaten. Previous studies have indicated that the
arsenic was eliminated with chicken waste.
Pfizer Inc., which makes the feed ingredient, said Wednesday that it will pull it off
the market in the United States. FDA said it would be banned because it is a carcinogen.
Pfizer said in a statement that its subsidiary, Alpharma LLC, is suspending sales next
month in response to the FDA findings. The company said it is not withdrawing the
ingredient immediately so producers have time to transition their birds off the drug.
Many poultry producers have recently stopped feeding their birds the ingredient, which
was used to kill parasites and promote growth. The FDA's deputy commissioner for foods,
said the study raised "concerns of a very low but completely avoidable exposure to a
In a study of 100 chickens, the FDA found that chickens that had eaten the Roxarsone
had higher levels of inorganic arsenic — as opposed to organic arsenic, which is
naturally occurring — in their livers than chickens which had not eaten the Roxarsone.
Inorganic arsenic is more toxic than the naturally occurring form.
Roxarsone has long been a concern for environmental groups worried about its presence
in chicken waste and the resulting effects on human health in areas with high
Eeek! I know that there is always a certain amount of chemicals in the food you eat but
this one is a bit on the scary side. The worst part is, the arsenic isn't the one we
were brought up eating. It's a new more poisonous source. Make sure you fill your
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