Arsenic in Organic Chicken

Image Credit: / Flickr

Does “organic” chicken contain less arsenic?

Does “organic” chicken fare any better?

Kristen / Originally posted in Dr. Oz, apple juice, and arsenic: chicken may have 10 times more


Great question, Kristen! In a survey of arsenic levels in U.S. chicken, while nearly three-quarters of the breasts, thighs and livers from conventional producers carried detectable levels of arsenic, of certified organic or other “premium” chicken parts or whole chickens, just one-third had detectable arsenic. This suggests consumers who continue to eat chicken can lower their arsenic intake by choosing organic.

Unfortunately, arsenic-laced chicken manure can still be used to grow organic produce (and rice! See How Much Arsenic In Rice Came From Chickens?).

For more videos on chicken, see and for more on organic versus conventional in general, see

Image credit: / Flickr


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.

13 responses to “Does “organic” chicken contain less arsenic?

Comment Etiquette

On, 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. 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

  1. Dr. Gregor, have there been any studies that address this claim that paleo people make that if you eat only “organic, grass-pastured” animal meat, that people do not suffer the same negative health effects that people eating “conventional” animal meat do? I really wish you’d make a good, detailed video about any studies about this topic that have been done so that I can link it!

    1. The major health issues seen with animal products is independent of whether the meat is organic or conventional. Red meat that is grass fed still contains trans fat, it still causes increased levels of IGF-1 and it still causes endotoxemia Dr. Greger has covered the paleo diet here on his free ebook.

      1. Yeah, but unfortunately, until there has been specific studies health effects in those eating in “conventional” versus “organic” animal’s meat, the paleo people just hold on to this claim. Atkins was not exactly like paleo, although they have many things in common. One of the main things in this new version is promoting eating only non-factory farmed animals, though I’m sure almost no paleo dieter actually follows this restriction. They do this for health reasons, not ethical ones, of course. Also, paleo people eat more veggies, I understand. Atkins was all about getting rid of carbs. Paleo doesn’t reject carbs, I think it promotes eating fruit, for instance. Because of that, I wish there were more studies that looked at these claims about organic animal’s meat not having the same negative health effects as conventional.

        1. The videos posted above are, as I said, independent of conventional vs organic, meaning their is no difference. Does organic meat still contain bacteria and saturated fat? IS organic meat still a “complete” protein? Does organic meat still contain trans fat? The answer is yes to all three points which is relevant to the videos above.

          1. That does NOT mean there is no difference, though. It means that the studies did not look at this question at all. I mean, I’m not saying paleo people are correct, no need to be defensive. I’m just trying to look at these things in the way that the unconvinced do so that we can more effective in countering their common arguments.

            1. Organic and conventional meats are not different at the biological level. It is the same animal just raised in a different way. More weight is put on organic then is really justified.

              1. Yes, I agree. I was simply asking if there were any studies about specifically this question. Then you, someone with the screen name “Toxins” who responds to many things on this site, answered with the same unhelpful non-answer repeatedly, even misspelling the word “there” in the process. No offense, but the correct answer to my original question, unfortunately, seems to be that there has not been any studies on this specific question. That is too bad. You don’t need to respond to everything on this site if you do not have an answer for it. I hate it when someone refuses to acknowledge the actual question and instead repeatedly answers unasked questions, and I hate it when someone doing that forces me into the position of seeming like I’m on the other side just for asking the question.

                1. I do not know of specific studies comparing organic vs conventional. The answer I gave you above umbrellas organic and conventional animal products. I did not think that you understood this point so I said it in a different way.

                  1. A good tip is to assume that other people are at least as intelligent as you are and not echo easily-understood information back at them repeatedly instead of addressing the question asked. If you look above, you will see that you responded to MY post originally, in which I asked a specific question of Dr. Greger. Anyway, I also don’t know any such studies, but it seems like paleo advocates have been lead to believe that such studies exist and, furthermore, promote their meat-heavy diet. Hence my question.

                    Have a nice night.

                    1. You had not acknowledged what I was telling you so forgive me if it seemed on my end that you did not understand what I was saying. I did not assume you were less intelligent, I assumed that you had misunderstood what I was saying. My original post is useful in addressing paleo proponents because it is independent of organic or conventional farm practices. I am sure there are studies out there or in the works comparing these 2 groups so if there is new light on the topic I will post it here.

                    2. Frankly, I am no longer interested in your input, thanks. If the good doc had a way to ask questions in a private inbox way rather than only publicly by commenting, I would not be stuck having this repetitive conversation with you, but alas, the world is imperfect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This