Thursday, April 19, 2007

Would You Care for Some Arsenic With Your Chicken Cordon-Bleu?

Fact is, you haven’t been given a choice. It seems that arsenic-based compounds, most commonly something called roxarsone, have been added to most chicken feeds “to promote growth, kill parasites [i.e., coccidiosis] that cause diarrhea, and improve pigmentation of chicken meat.” That’s all well and good for commercial chicken producers, I suppose, but not so good for humans who consume chicken. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “long-term exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause bladder, lung, skin, kidney, and colon cancer, as well as deleterious immunological, neurological, and endrocrine effects. Low-level exposures can lead to partial paralysis and diabetes.” Makes you want to run for the hills, doesn’t it? At least one law suit has been filed over the use of roxarsone in the poultry industry.

My thanks to cyberthrush at Ivory-bills LiVE!! for bringing the C&EN article to my attention.


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