Poultry that have taken drugs based on arsenic compounds produce meat high in inorganic arsenic compounds - proven carcinogens, say researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center . The study highlights evidence that the use of arsenic compounds in poultry farming is a threat to public health. Researchers consider the use of any arsenic compounds in the livestock and food industries to be a vicious practice and call on the responsible authorities to ban it and effectively enforce the ban.


Researchers collected samples of poultry meat in 10 major cities in the United States between December 2010 and June 2011. At that time, the arsenic-based veterinary drug Roxarson, manufactured by Pfizer , was readily available to poultry farmers wishing to add it to their diet. your animals. In addition to inorganic arsenic compounds, which are four times the norm allowed by the standard for organically raised birds, the researchers also found traces of Roxarson in the meat.


Arsenic compounds have been used in poultry farming around the world for decades. They are used to accelerate the rate of weight gain and to improve its pigmentation. They are also indicated for the treatment of parasitosis in birds. According to estimates by poultry farmers in the United States, more than 88% of the 9 billion birds raised in the country for human consumption have received Roxarson.


In 2011, Pfizer voluntarily removed Roxarson from the US market, but continues to offer it in other countries around the world. In addition, they have the right to return it to the US market at any time. Pfizer is currently distributing another arsenic compound on the US market, nitarson, which is chemically similar to roxarson. There is no law or regulation in the United States that prohibits the addition of arsenic compounds to poultry feed.



According to Dr. Keeve Nachman, author of the study, the withdrawal of Rocarson from the market is a positive step, but it is not enough to solve the problem. He hopes the study will persuade the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) to ban the use of any arsenic compounds in poultry farming.


Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic compounds can cause lung cancer, bladder cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes , cognitive deficits and more.


The FDA has not yet announced acceptable levels of arsenic compounds in foods. The only recommendation issued by the agency, and of a non-binding nature, is to maintain levels below 1 microgram of inorganic arsenic compounds per kilogram of meat. The meat in which the researchers found Roxarson contains 2-3 times more inorganic arsenic.


Another important finding made by Dr. Nachman's team is that cooking chicken lowers the levels of Roxarson in it because heat treatment converts it to inorganic arsenic compounds, which are found in higher amounts in cooked than raw meat.