Transcript: Arsenic in Chicken
Arsenic is bad stuff—no argument. But most of the arsenic in the American diet comes not from rice; more than three quarters comes from animal products: beef, milk, pork, hot dogs, eggs, and…chicken.
Perdue is the most contaminated. One bucket of American fast food chicken may exceed the EPA safety limit for arsenic in a glass of drinking water by 2,000%.
How did it get there? The poultry industry fed it to them. Two million pounds of arsenic compounds are fed to chickens every year in the United States, and about 85 tons fed to pigs. Here’s the list of arsenic-containing feed additives approved by the FDA.
But why would the poultry industry do that? Why do we feed millions of pounds of arsenic compounds to chickens every year? Here’s one of the chemical company ads: “Livestock and profits growing healthy together.” It's approved by the FDA to increase the rate of weight gain. When you cram tens of thousands of birds into filthy football field-sized sheds to lie beak-to-beak in their own waste, they become so heavily infested with internal parasites that adding arsenic to the feed to poison the bugs can result in a dramatic increase in growth rates. It’s also approved for use to “improve pigmentation.” Arsenic can give the carcass a pinkish tinge, which consumers prefer.
So, the industry gets more profit; the consumers get the pink—what’s the downside? Landmark review in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences last year, out of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. What are the public health consequences of extra dietary arsenic? Extra cancer risk, heart disease, diabetes, neuropathy, and neurocognitive deficits in children—not something to crow about.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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