Arsenic in Chicken

Arsenic in Chicken
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The poultry industry feeds their birds millions of pounds of arsenic-containing drugs every year.

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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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

To learn more about this issue, check out:
How Many Cancers Have Been Caused by Arsenic-Laced Chicken?

Also check out my other videos on chicken

For more context, see my associated blog posts: Dr. Oz, apple juice, and arsenic: chicken may have ten times moreAdding FDA-Approved Viruses to MeatHow Much Arsenic In Rice Came From Chickens? and When a Scraped Knee May Once Again Kill.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

19 responses to “Arsenic in Chicken

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    1. That is just one of the many arsenic-containing feed additives approved for use in the United States. It’s great that sales of one of them, 4-Hydroxy-3-nitrobenzenearsonic acid (3-Nitro®), was suspended, but we need a ban so all of them are pulled from the market. See Food and Water Watch’s report last year “Poison Free Poultry.”




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  1. I eat a plant-based diet for good reasons, but friends and family tell me they feel they ‘have to have meat’ to feel good. I don’t agree, but that’s their opinion. I am wondering for their sake, does buying simply “organic” chicken solve this arsenic  ingestion problem? Or would it have to be organic, free-range? Or kosher? Does the arsenic feed only apply to factory farm chickens that  are not organic?




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  2. I watched your video “Pandemic Prevention:  Bird Flu and Emerging Infectious Diseases.”  If you put it on this web site more people will quit eating chicken.




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  3. The USDA does NOT allow arsenic in organic poultry.

    “Farmers and ranchers must accommodate the health and natural behavior of their animals year-round. For example, organic livestock must be:
    Generally, managed organically from the last third of gestation (mammals) or second day of life (poultry).
    Allowed year-round access to the outdoors except under specific conditions (e.g., inclement weather).

    Raised on certified organic land meeting all organic crop production standards. Raised per animal health and welfare standards.

    Fed 100 percent certified organic feed, except for trace minerals and vitamins used to meet the animal’s nutritional requirements.

    “…Managed without antibiotics, added growth hormones, mammalian or avian byproducts, or other prohibited feed ingredients (e.g., urea, manure, or arsenic compounds).”

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5102526




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  4. Chicken Meat contains Arsenic? FDA… so what?

    Do you think its time for CHANGE? FDA
    could easily and immediately fix the problem,” said Paige Tomaselli,
    senior staff attorney with CFS, “but instead puts its head in the sand.
    We can only conclude the FDA is catering to the companies that continue
    to sell products containing arsenic that ends up in our food supply.” Is this a PROBLEM?
    David Gross •

    There was a big scare when Dr. Oz found arsenic in apple juice.

    Then rice.

    There is a difference between inorganic and organic arsenic.

    Total arsenic may not be something to worry about.




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  5. what can I eat that is not poisoned? Meat, veggies, and fruits all are full of crap, now what? Where do you go, what can you eat?




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  6. I’m amazed! Thanks for the information. Now please what do you think about
    1. The chemicals they use in growing and preserving fruits and vegetables?
    2. Is drinking distill water better than tap water since tap water has been found to contain many chemical?




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  7. The agri-business for farm animals is evil. They don’t care about animals or people. Thank you for telling the truth. The FDA is also finally talking about removing antibiotics from farm animals.




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  8. You should quit eating processed meats and lower your food bill by half and all the fat and toxic stuff, but you have to think differently. A baked potato, carrots, succotash and apple sauce is a meal and the meat doesn’t have to be there. For some protein wolf down some nuts or seeds. IF people eliminated meats they could eliminate the huge refrigerator.




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  9. All other meats have increased in price by a lot. Even turkeys, but chicken is staying the same. So why do the others have to raise their prices? Turkey has increased by triple in the last five years. How can they make chickens with no increase? They say no hormones, but strange how it takes a chicken the whole Summer to reach full size but they can do it in six week sin a chicken house. So just quit eating the crap and eat sunflower seeds. Because the stuff is toxic.




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