Chicken laced with arsenic
a recent study proffers yet another rationale for not consuming chicken. As per its findings, the foodstuff is not only laced with antibiotics, but is also full of carcinogenic arsenic. The arsenic contamination is higher than what was previously estimated -- as much as three to four times more than the levels of other poultry meat.
Arsenic occurs naturally in two forms: organic and inorganic. Inorganic arsenic is more toxic than the organic variety, and is classified as a carcinogen; studies have linked chronic exposures of 10-40 microgrammes per kilogramme of body weight per day with skin, respiratory and bladder cancers. On the other hand, organic arsenic helps combat diseases of poultry; it is, therefore, approved for use in roxarsone -- an additive fed to about 70 per cent of chickens raised for food in the us. But once ingested, some of the organic metal gets converted into the inorganic form, which is retained in animal tissue, especially the liver.
During the study, researchers from the us department of agriculture analysed data pertaining to the arsenic content of 20,000 meat samples collected by the us Food Safety and Inspection Service (fsis) between 1993 and 2000. They found that meat of young chicken -- which account for most of the chicken meat consumed in the us -- has arsenic concentration (0.39 parts per million) three to four times higher than meat of mature chicken or other types of poultry products.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.