08 Jun '11, 9pm

FDA admits supermarket chickens test positive for arsenic

Why is Big Ag playing chicken with our health? Back in March, Tom Philpott wrote about the "insane" practice of feeding factory-farmed chickens arsenic: The idea is that it makes them grow faster -- fast growth being the supreme goal of factory animal farming -- and helps control a common intestinal disease called coccidiosis. The industry emphasizes that the arsenic is applied in organic form, which isn't immediately toxic. "Organic" in the chemistry sense, that is, not the agricultural sense -- i.e., molecules containing carbon atoms as well as arsenic. Trouble is, arsenic shifts from organic to inorganic rather easily. Indeed, "arsenic in poultry manure is rapidly converted into an inorganic form that is highly water soluble and capable of moving into surface and ground water," write Keeve E. Nachman and Robert S. Lawrence of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Futur...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/food-safety/2011-06-08-fda-admits-su...

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