Partner Post: Arsenic Found in Chicken Meat

by | Dec 5, 2013 | Consumer Safety |

FDA Condones Use of Arsenic in Chicken Meat

Written by James P. Nevin 

Chicken and pork, the healthier white meat alternatives to a burger, right? Wrong. The FDA research recently released shows arsenic in conventional chicken meat. This is not a new phenomenon, the FDA has been aware of this for sixty years.

The FDA has swept this information under the rug by claiming that “the arsenic is excreted in the chicken feces.” There is no scientific basis for such a claim, it is just what the poultry industry wanted us to believe. Potentially more disturbing than us ingesting a known cancer-causing agent like arsenic in our food is how the chickens are exposed to it. The farmers feed it to them. The manufacturer of the chicken feed product known as Roxarsone has recently pulled the product from the US market. This is the same company, Pfizer, which makes vaccines containing chemical adjuvants that are injected into children. This feed will still be sold to other countries until their local laws disallow it.

The FDA claims that the arsenic in chicken meat is at such a low level that it is safe to consume. Even though the FDA also releases statements warning that arsenic is a known carcinogen, meaning it increases the risk of cancer. “We were kind of floored,” said Keeve E. Nachman, author and scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future. “It’s unbelievable what we found.” Originally the researchers had intended to test only for antibiotics in the chickens. But tests for other chemicals and pharmaceuticals didn’t cost extra, so researchers asked for those results as well. These scientific studies suggested that poultry on factory farms are routinely fed caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics and arsenic.

While the FDA is breezing over the arsenic in chicken meat issue, it is avidly shutting down companies endorsing herbal products, such as raw milk or elderberry juice. These companies are not allowed to claim any health benefits from consuming their products, yet the poultry distance can simply leave out the risk of consuming chicken.

Before you swear off chicken and get back on the beef bandwagon, there is one more factor to be aware of. “Chicken litter containing arsenic is fed to cows in factory beef operations.” This means that the arsenic which may pass through the chickens is then consumed by cows, in their feed, and may contaminate beef. The New York Times states that “These studies don’t mean that you should dump the contents of your refrigerator, but they do raise serious questions about the food we eat and how we should shop.” Knowing the FDA is on the side of big business and not the consumer makes the organic movement make a little more sense.