Arsenic-Fed Chickens – Watch Out!

factory chickens arsenic  Arsenic and hormones? Until someone checks your chicken, be suspicious of what’s in it. 

Is this bad news for all those folk in America and probably us in the Middle East who eat factory farm raised chickens: When we wrote previous articles about factory farm raised chickens, such as those used by fast food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), we spoke of the possibility that a form of arsenic was being fed to the poultry to rid them of various parasites. Now that’s a recognized fact in America.

Crispy good and maybe arsenic laced as well

This possibility may now be a reality as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  appears to be admitting that arsenic and other “medications” are being fed to factory farm raised poultry. This comes after previous tests were made on poultry by Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University which recorded levels of arsenic, the antihistamine benadryl, as well as illegal antibiotics.

The arsenic is said to be used to make the flesh of the chickens more pink and also rid the chickens of various parasites. The FDA appears to have admitted that the arsenic was added to chicken feed on purpose; but that the arsenic is of such low levels that the chickens are safe to eat.

The arsenic is added to a chicken feed called Roxarsone, which the US Environmental Protection Agency determined resulted in (PDF) levels of arsenic being found in chicken manure. The company actually making the Roxarsone is said to be Alpharma LLC.

An article from the New York Times reports that Johns Hopkins scientist Keeve Nachman said: “we were kind of floored, it’s unbelievable what we found,” in regards to finding not only the arsenic compound, but other chemicals as well. He added:

“We haven’t found anything that is an immediate health concern, but it makes me question how comfortable we are feeding a number of these things to animals that we’re eating. It bewilders me.”

As was noted in an earlier Green Prophet article, Roxosone was supposedly taken off the market in the USA back in 2006.  Factory poultry farms also contribute greatly to the earth’s carbon footprint, which can be calculated in the Earth Day website’s Ecological Footprint Quiz.

Large poultry farms are also found in many parts of the Middle East and this is especially true in Israel where I live. About the same time that use of arsenic in chickens had been reported in the USA , an article in the Israel newspaper Haaretz said that the Israeli agricultural ministry admitted that arsenic tainted chickens had been allowed to be sold to the public. Where environmental laws lag behind in the Middle East these kinds of stories will be coming out more in the future.

At that time, it was reported that the Agriculture Ministry in Israel had allowed the used of “growth stimulants” containing arsenic in poultry. The Haaretz article added that Israel has 700 large poultry farms, producing more than half a million tons of poultry per year.

The USA is the biggest world  producer of poultry, followed by China and Brazil. Notable Middle East area poultry producers, besides Israel, include Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Until someone checks your chicken, be suspicious of what’s in it.

Read more about arsenic and other issues involving poultry raising:
Are you Eating Arsenic With Your Chicken?
Are Sick Chicks Poisoning Israel’s Ground Water?
Oprah, What are you Thinking With Your Free KFC Giveaway?

Image of factory chickens from Shutterstock

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