Arsenic in Poultry Feed

Wenonah Hauter: It’s time to ban arsenic in poultry feed

Arsenic in poultry. I had no idea arsenic was added to chicken feed to treat intestinal illnesses. The gist of the article is that this stuff ends up not only in our own diet but in waterways and groundwater.

Some startling stuff here (emphasis added by me):

Between 1995 and 2000, 70 percent of the 8.7 billion chickens produced each year in the U.S. were fed arsenic. According to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 55 percent of chickens in grocery stores and 100 percent of chicken served in fast food restaurants carried detectable traces of arsenic.

Chronic exposure to arsenic is linked to increased risk for bladder, kidney, lung, liver and colon cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes and neurological problems in children. Moreover, chicken litter spread on local crop fields can also contain arsenic. Potential excess runoff from these fields can introduce the poison into waterways like the Chesapeake Bay. Groundwater tests throughout Maryland’s coastal plains have found arsenic concentrations reaching up to 13 times the EPA’s tolerance limit.

Sounds like another not so good practice.

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