The US Food and Drug Administration allows
Roxarsone to be used in chicken feed, although arsenic-based food additives are
Roxarsone is used in feed to keep chickens from getting
parasitic diseases and says it is safe because the arsenic is the organic
variety. However, arsenic-based compound fed to chickens may be more dangerous
than previously thought. A researcher atDuquesne University has found evidence that the
arsenic converts to the inorganic kind when it combines with
bacteria in chicken manure. That manure is used for fertilizer and can leak
"It's very disturbing to me that people are being exposed to this
arsenic, but we don't have a choice -- we have to feed the chickens what the
company gives us," said Carole Morison, a contract grower for Perdue on
"Farmers spread manure with arsenic in it all over their land as fertilizer, and
we don't know what the risks are."
Although Perdue still uses Roxarsone in chicken feed, Tyson, the largest
chicken producer, announced last
year it was abandoning arsenic additives.
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