Arsenic in chicken.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Nan(TX), Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bag End, Hobbiton The Shire Middle-Earth
    One more reason to grow your own.

    Poison in Your Poultry
    by Karen Lurie

    Chicken is a big part of the American diet, and consumption is increasing. So it's important to know what's in this popular poultry.
    Small amounts of the poison arsenic are commonly added to chicken feed as an approved supplement that controls intestinal parasites. While the amount passed on to the majority of people who eat chicken is not high enough to be harmful, a report in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives shows that arsenic exposure from chicken is much higher than previously thought.

    "When we looked at the arsenic levels, we noticed that the levels were three or four times higher in chickens than in other poultry and meats," says Tamar Lasky, an epidemiologist who completed the study while working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). (Lasky now works for the National Institutes of Health.)
    Lasky's data came from 5,000 chicken samples collected over seven years by the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service. Based on the amount of arsenic found in the chicken tissue, the data shows that the average person ingests 3.6 to 5.2 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per day from chicken alone. Inorganic arsenic is classified as a carcinogen, and some cancers—such as skin, respiratory, and bladder cancer—have been seen at exposures of ten to forty micrograms per day. But Lasky says that even someone who eats at the very high end of the scale (about a pound a day, she says) is "still within the tolerable limits" for arsenic exposure set by the World Health Organization.

    For more....
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Aug 4, 2003
    Zone Unknown
    A local grocery has begun selling free-range antibiotic-free chicken at a VERY reasonable price. :)

    I think I'll do some checking to see if they're arsenic free, as well.

    In any case, given this is Tyson Country :no: , I think finding this free-range, antibiotic-free chicken readily available here is a very good sign.

  3. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bag End, Hobbiton The Shire Middle-Earth
    Congratulation on your find.

    This is from
    Arsenic in poultry causes little concern
    The Times

    But how does arsenic get into chicken in the first place? Some researchers have blamed arsenicals, compounds that are added to chicken feed to control coccidia, an intestinal parasite. Coccidiosis is the poultry industry's most costly disease, causing diarrhea, emaciation and sometimes death if left unchecked.
    "(Arsenicals) are used only on chicks, generally up to about three weeks of age. They're withdrawn long before the broilers go to market at six to eight weeks," said Louise Dufour-Zavala, a veterinarian at the Georgia Poultry Laboratory in Oakwood.
    She said coccidiosis can be prevented and treated by medications that do not contain arsenic. "But you have to keep switching back and forth from one product to another, because the coccidia develop resistance."

    Steven Collier, vice president of operations at Baldwin-based Fieldale, one of Northeast Georgia's largest poultry companies, said preventing the spread of coccidia is crucial to the industry.
    "There could be high mortality in our flocks if we do not control that protozoan," he said.
    But Collier said it's not standard practice to feed arsenicals to every young bird. "It depends on the conditions at the individual growers (farmers who contract with poultry companies). Our field representatives visit each farm at least once a week and make any adjustments that are needed."

    When it's necessary to give medication, he said, it's done in a way that poses no threat to human health. "These compounds have been around for a long, long time. They're approved by the FDA and tested for safety."

    If administered according to the guidelines, there should be no traces of arsenic in the birds by the time they are slaughtered. So Collier believes the elevated levels seen in the research study probably came from something other than the medicine.
    "Arsenic is found in some local water supplies, especially in areas that burn a lot of coal or have a lot of copper mining," he said. "The birds in the study could also have eaten feed corn grown in areas that have high levels of arsenic in the soil. But none of those things is typical for North Georgia."
    And even if traces of arsenic were found in locally grown poultry, it's not likely to deter many Georgians from eating chicken, a mainstay at the Southern dinner table.

    The report.
    Funky Chicken
    Consumers Exposed to Arsenic in Poultry
  4. Arsenic is actually used by our bodies in a very, very small amount.
    Apple seeds contain arsenic! It is everywhere! There are many substances in many foods that can be dangerous in large enough amounts. I would not be afraid to buy chicken because of this report .....bbuuuttt! I still support free ranged, no chemical chickens. Another thing it seems many of these research reports coming out are put out by those with "animal rights" agendas, trying to scare people to vegan diets. The wonderful world it would be if we all had local small scale meat producers or our own stock:)