Image Credit: jessicareeder / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Dr. Oz, apple juice, and arsenic: chicken may have 10 times more

Dr. Oz is right to be concerned about arsenic contamination in our food supply. According to scientists from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Environmental Protection Agency, “Arsenic is a human carcinogen, and is also associated with increased risks of several noncancer endpoints, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neuropathy, and neurocognitive deficits in children.”

Last week The Dr. Oz Show released independent lab reports finding as much as 36 ppb of arsenic in apple juice. USDA researchers, however, have estimated that chicken may harbor as much as 430 ppb. And since Americans consume three times more chicken than apple juice, chicken may represent 30 times the arsenic risk of apple juice. Based on FDA retesting of apple juice samples, though, compared to the amount of arsenic found in a Perdue chicken breast, for example, arsenic exposure from chicken may be only 15 times as great.

The arsenic in apple juice is thought to come from arsenic-containing pesticides still in use in countries such as China, but how did arsenic get into the chicken?

The poultry industry fed it to them.

Every year about two million pounds of arsenic-containing chemicals have been fed to chickens in the United States. Why would the industry do such a thing? When tens of thousands of birds are crammed into filthy, football field-sized sheds to lie beak-to-beak in their own waste they can 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. Also, arsenic can give the carcass a pinkish tinge, which consumers prefer.

Though arsenic-based feed additives have been banned in Europe for over a decade, they continue to be legal in the United States. One drug company did announce this summer, though, that it has suspended sales to poultry companies after the FDA found concerning levels of a particularly toxic form of arsenic in edible tissues of chickens given feed laced with the arsenic-containing drug.

Based on the USDA estimates of arsenic levels in the U.S. chicken supply, the prestigious Medical Letter on the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration concluded, “Chicken consumption may contribute significant amounts of arsenic to total arsenic exposure of the U.S. population….Levels of arsenic in chicken are so high that other sources may have to be monitored carefully to prevent undue toxic exposure among the population.”

For more, see my video Arsenic in Chicken.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

Read the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s report Playing Chicken: Avoiding Arsenic in Your Meat

Comenta

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

Deja una respuesta

Tu correo electrónico no se publicará Los campos obligatorios están marcados *

Pin It en Pinterest

Share This