Study finds increased levels of arsenic in chicken

By qmnonic Flickr Creative Commons

By qmnonic Flickr Creative Commons

WASHINGTON, DC, May 13, 2013 – In a study published online Saturday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found arsenic levels in chicken that exceed those that occur naturally.  Researchers also cautioned that this could translate into a small increase in cancer risk over a lifetime of eating chicken, and may result in around 124 annual deaths due to bladder and lung cancer.

Arsenic-containing drugs and feed have been allowed in U.S. chicken production since the 1940s.  Approved in 1944 by FDA, roxarsone is used to prevent intestinal parasites, promote faster weight gain on less feed, and improve the pigmentation (color) of chicken meat. Feed with arsenic-containing compounds has never been approved in the EU, Japan and several other countries around the world.

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