What the heck are they putting in chicken feed?
Last week I told you about the ludicrous USDA claim that changes in chicken feed have made eggs more nutritious, while also somehow reducing cholesterol content.
And now, on the flip side, the Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland Attorney General is pushing state lawmakers to ban arsenic from chicken feed.
Insane, but true. An arsenic-based compound called roxarsone has been used in chicken feed since 1944! And many chicken farmers are fighting tooth-and-nail to keep it in there.
Supposedly, this bit-o-arsenic helps prevent illness among the chickens. But the added compound also makes chicken flesh appear pinker and more appealing to consumers.
What health problems might arise from a steady intake of trace arsenic is anybody’s guess. But as you probably know, arsenic is a highly toxic compound that can cause convulsions, organ failure, and death.
The Baltimore Sun piece notes that Perdue and some other major chicken producers don’t use arsenic in chicken feed. So look for the name Perdue or choose organic if you’d like to have arsenic-free chicken, no matter what the Maryland politicos decide.
“Lawmakers want arsenic removed from chicken feed” Annie Linskey, Baltimore Sun, 2/10/11, weblogs.baltimoresun.com