Eat More Chicken?

The EPA and FDA continue to take care of the people who take care of them.

Do the farmers who raise chickens, live on the farm, and drink well water show any effects of arsenic in the ground water? (Here in Georgia, chicken farming is BIG business.)

Link: News

Researchers and advocates are raising new health questions about the pervasive use of an organic arsenic compound, roxarsone, as a growth-promoter in chicken feed. Europe has already banned roxarsone, but the EPA and FDA have all but ignored the problem despite evidence that arsenic is tainting store-bought chickens and perhaps also groundwater near poultry farms.

Link: ScienceLine

…over 70 percent of all broiler chickens grown in the U.S. are fed roxarsone, according to a 2000 article published in the journal Poultry Science. Roxarsone prevents the growth of microscopic intestinal parasites called coccidia that frequently infect livestock, and it provides the added bonus of better growth—i.e., bigger chickens.

Roxarsone doesn’t disappear once chickens eat it. Some is distributed throughout the animal’s tissues, including the breasts, thighs and legs—meat that is later eaten by consumers. The rest is excreted unchanged in poultry waste. Ninety percent of this manure is later converted into fertilizer that can contaminate crops, lakes, rivers, and eventually drinking water.

Little research, however, has investigated the public health consequences of this practice, which was banned in the European Union in 1999. Although several studies have looked at the levels of arsenic present in chicken muscle meat, and some have looked at crop soil contamination, the results have been inconsistent. None have determined how extensively this practice contaminates drinking water.