There has been a lot of feathers ruffled about arsenic and chicken. Here’s the whole chicken poop.
On June 8, 2011, the FDA announced that Pfizer will suspended the U.S. sales of the animal drug 3-Nitro (Roxarsone) in 30 days. Animal processors needed time to transition to other treatment strategies.
An FDA study of 100 broiler chickens that detected inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, at higher levels in the livers of chickens treated with 3-Nitro compared with untreated chickens.
Published scientific reports have indicated that organic arsenic, a less toxic form of arsenic and the form present in 3-Nitro could transform into inorganic arsenic.
In 1944, 3-Nitro became the first arsenic-containing new animal drug product approved by the FDA. It is used primarily in broiler chickens. Combined with other animal drugs, 3-Nitro has been used by some in the poultry industry to help control coccidiosis, a parasitic disease that affects the intestinal tracts of animals. It has also been used for weight gain, feed efficiency and improved pigmentation.
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