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Human poison in chicken feed

According to Gwen Cox who raised broiler chickens for Pilgrim’s Pride from 2001 to 2004, she was forced to use poultry feed provided by the company. She remembers a few incidents during which she felt nauseous and with bouts of cough while working with the feed. After these episodes she decided to check the label listing the ingredients and noticed it contained roxarsone, an organic arsenic compound. Very concerned about her health and her chickens, she inquired at Pilgrim’s Pride the reason for it and was told to mind her own business for roxarsone is “a microbe inhibitor and is proven to be safe in the quantity used in the feed.” Roxarsone has been found to prevent the growth of microscopic intestinal parasites called coccidia that frequently infect livestock, and it provides the added bonus of bigger chickens.

Unfortunately over 70% of chickens in the US are fed roxarsone and the consequences might be disastrous since once ingested by the chickens it remains distributed throughout the animal’s tissues (later eaten by consumers) and the rest is excreted unchanged in poultry waste.

The environmental risks are in that 90% of this manure is later converted into fertilizer that can contaminate crops, lakes, rivers, and even drinking water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates drinking water, arsenic is a class A carcinogen, meaning that data have definitively shown arsenic to cause cancer.

To read the full article please visit http://scienceline.org/2006/09/20/env-wenner-arsenic/ 

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