Arsenic Additives Blamed for Rash of
Use of aresenic in chicken feed to kill parasites, killing
Scientists confirmed what grandmothers have known for centuries -
chicken soup is good for colds.
Chicken soup-like grandma used to make-contains several ingredients
that affect the body's immune system. Dr. Stephen Rennard and a team at the
University of Nebraska Medical Center found anti-inflammatory properties
that helps explain why it soothes sore throats and eases the misery of colds
But "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!" To make huge profits Tyson
pioneered the factory production of chickens, raising them by the thousands
in overcrowded conditions, feeding them recycled "rendered" feed processed
from cancerous chickens, road kill, chicken manure,
offal and a witches' brew of odious chemicals and drugs. It is not
surprising these chickens were unhealthy.
Profits went down because chicken raised in such
unnatural conditions are so seriously infested with parasites they barely
grow. In the 1970s the poultry industry began adding
arsenic-based chemicals to chicken
feed. Roxarsone is commonly mixed with feed to control intestinal
parasites and promote growth in both poultry and hogs.
Dr. Michael Greger, MD, reports researchers from the National Institutes of
Health and the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service recently reported
"alarmingly high levels of arsenic contamination in
the flesh of broiler chickens." These government researchers found that the
amount of arsenic in chicken
greatly exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's new upper safety
limit of arsenic allowed in drinking water. The
amount of arsenic found in chicken
was 6 to 9 times that allowed by the EPA. A "bucket" of Kentucky Fried
Chicken would be expected to have up to almost fifty
times the amount of arsenic allowed in a glass of
Arsenic has long been known to be a deadly poison,
but not everyone knows, even in amounts far too small to kill you outright,
it is a deadly carcinogen. Arsenic causes at least
20 different types of cancer, kidney, prostate and virtually every organ.
Some cancers-such as skin, lung, and bladder cancer-have been seen at
exposures of as little as ten to forty micrograms per day.
The National Academies, which advises the federal government on a range of
health and science issues, reported to Congress in 2001 "that the data
indicate arsenic causes cancer in humans at doses
that are close to the drinking water concentrations that occur in the United
States." The chemical and commercial poultry interests claim the
arsenic in roxasrone is "harmless." But there was
increased incidence of "carcinogenic activity," adenomas of the exocrine
pancreas in male F344/N rats exposed to roxarsone.
While scientists experiment on lab rats, real humans are dying. The tiny
town of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, is suffering from a cancer
epidemic far more dangerous and deadly than the hyped, hypothetical bird flu
scarerism. Too many residents in the town of 2,500 have been diagnosed with
rare cancers that usually occur at a rate of one in a million.
Grieving parents have had to bury at least four children, not just
government "statistics" in this cancer cluster, 50 times higher than the
Survivors have filed at least a half dozen lawsuits. At least five
children are among the plaintiffs.
Leukemia, testicular and brain cancers are the most common cancers
related to environmental factors in children and young adults.
The "smoking gun" is higher than expected levels of arsenic
in dust found in the homes of cancer victims, reported The (Springdale)
According to Dr. James Dahlgreen, an expert in internal, occupational and
environmental medicine, Roxarsone, when spread on fields, biodegrades into
very toxic poisons: Inorganic Arsenic III and V. The
plaintiffs are angry because they say the defendant companies intentionally
failed to warn the public of the danger presented by exposure to
chicken litter, deliberately misrepresented the
danger and took steps to conceal from the public the harmful effects of
Alpharma, Alpharma Animal Health, Cal-Maine Farms, Cargill,
George's, Peterson, Simmons and Tyson Foods are among the defendant
Besides cancers, the townspeople complain they suffer from many ailments,
ranging the gamut from respiratory diseases, gastro-intestinal troubles to
auto-immune and neurological disorders. This is not surprising because
arsenic has also been linked to many illnesses, for
example, diabetes, cardio-vascular damage, suppressed immune systems and DNA
While the lawsuits in Prairie Grove and other small farming communities in
Kentucky and Mississippi focus on airborne
arsenic carried by dust from fields fertilized with
chicken litter, other experts are far more concerned with the long
term effects of the arsenic contamination of soils
For example 338,679 tons of litter is produced annually in Maryland.
More than 76% (258,081 tons) comes from the four Lower Shore counties. On
the Delmarva Peninsula 20 to 50 metric tons of arsenic
are added to the environment annually by chicken
Cancer rates on the Lower Shore are among the highest in Maryland, far
exceeding national averages of 206 per 100,000.
Somerset County has one of the highest cancer death rates (267 cases for
every 100,000 people) in America. Wicomico and Worcester counties also
exceeded national and state averages (233 deaths and 229 deaths,
respectively, per 100,000 people.)
According to John Vandiver in the Salisbury, MD Daily Times, the National
Academy determined that enough evidence existed to draw the conclusion that
arsenic rates commonly found in the country's water
supply were enough to lead to some forms of cancer. The findings came at a
time when President Bush was working to repeal a Clinton administration
proposal to reduce the allowable amount of arsenic
in drinking water from 50 micrograms per liter to 10 micrograms per liter,
which is the health standard used by the European Union and World Health
Dr. Ellen Silbergeld, a researcher from the Johns Hopkins School of Public
Health, said "We're trying to do everything we can to get levels lower in
drinking water at very great cost, and yet we're deliberately adding
it to chicken."
The poultry industry's practice of using arsenic
compounds is "an issue everybody is trying to pretend doesn't exist.The
arsenicals are there. Are they significant amounts? That's the issue."
Silbergeld says using chicken litter as an
alternative energy source could be dangerous. "If the levels of
arsenic in waste are significant, burning it would
be the worst thing to do," she said.
"Arsenic acted as a growth stimulant in
chickens-develops the meat faster-and since then, the poultry industry has
gone wild using this ingredient," says Donald Herman, a Mississippi
agricultural consultant and former Environmental Protection Agency
researcher who has studied this use of arsenic for a
decade. "And they've tried everything to refrain it from becoming public
Researchers found not only elevated levels of organic
arsenic in chicken meat, they found elevated
levels of the highly toxic inorganic form typically used only in
insecticides and weed killers. They warned cooking the muscles of these
animals may create additional toxic arsenic
The good news is no arsenic was found in
organically raised chickens. USDA standards do not allow
arsenic in organic-chicken
feed. So find a source for organic chicken, and
listen to grandma-and Mother Nature. Bon apetite.