Reports on the long-awaited statement from the FDA confirmed that inorganic arsenic, which is the most toxic form of the chemical, was discovered to be absorbed by almost half of the chicken tested.
Roxarsone (” 3-Nitro”) is the arsenic-containing drug contributed to chicken feed for the purpose of fattening them up and offering their meat a “desirable” pink shade.
Faster weight gain on less feed likewise means “desirable” expense cuts for producers.
These money-saving measures seem to have actually overtaken factory farmers.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the FDA’s Chicken meat findings:
” THE AGENCY SAID IT RECENTLY CONDUCTED A STUDY OF 100 BROILER CHICKENS THAT DETECTED INORGANIC ARSENIC AT HIGHER LEVELS IN THE LIVERS OF CHICKENS TREATED WITH 3-NITRO COMPARED WITH UNTREATED CHICKENS … PFIZER SAID THE SALE OF 3-NITRO WOULD BE STOPPED BY EARLY JULY IN ORDER TO ALLOW ANIMAL PRODUCERS TO TRANSITION TO OTHER TREATMENTS.”
The most significant head-scratcher is how the FDA claims how the levels of arsenic in chickens are so low that their meat is still safe to take in.
This is the same FDA who reported arsenic to be a carcinogen– meaning it is distinctly not safe to consume.
Luckily, the general public is intelligent enough to call a spade a spade.
Pfizer revealed that it would withdraw Roxarsone from the market beginning next month.
The FDA didn’t order Pfizer to withdraw the drug, the company did so voluntarily.
Naturally, this does not resolve the problem of arsenic in chicken.
As Michael Hansen of Consumers Union specified in a press release:
“There are a number of other arsenic-containing drugs for animals that are on the marketplace, and those should likewise be withdrawn or banned, as they have been in the European Union.”
As Food & Water Watch reported in March, “in between 2000 and 2008, the USDA tested just 1 out of every 12 million locally produced chickens.”
So it’s not as if the federal government is tracking this issue in any organized way.
The industry is so ready to risk consumer panic over this issue and wait for the media or government officials to force its hand.
Instead of making smart organization choices and ending dangerous practices that might offer customers trigger to avoid their item, they rather try to hold back the tide.
One drug gets withdrawn while others remain.
The FDA tests 100 chicken meat products (as they performed in this newest test), while 8 billion are produced and sold every year.
It’s no wonder that the so-called “ag-gag” costs stay popular among commercial farmers and their political following. They cannot appear to let go of consumer ignorance as a crucial company strategy.
With arsenic in chicken, the FDA, the USDA, and the chicken industry appear to care far more about the perception of having acted rather than the truth of ensuring all chicken offered in the U.S. is devoid of this harmful substance.