For several years, it has been denounced in the United States that food contains a toxic product: arsenic. This time, it was the FDA that once challenged this state of affairs, has just confirmed that American chickens were contaminated with a harmful drug following a positive test revealing the presence of inorganic arsenic.
She just came out of her long silence. According to the Associated Press, a global and generalist news agency based in the United States and created in 1846, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), has just admitted that chicken meat sold in the United States contains arsenic, a toxic carcinogenic chemical that is fatal to humans in high doses. According to the Food for Health website, in 2006 a report by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit research and advocacy organization promoting sustainable food, farming and trade systems founded by Mark Ritchie in 1986, revealed that arsenic in American chicken meat is estimated at over 70%.
The same source reports that arsenic induces rapid weight gain, even with less feed given to chickens in order to create a voluminous appearance the size of chickens and a healthy colour in chicken, turkey and pig meat. For example, FAD found that nearly half of all chickens tested absorbed inorganic arsenic and that the most toxic form is present in their liver. As a result, the agency asked Pfizer to stop manufacturing “Roxarsone”, the drug containing arsenic that is added to chicken feed to fatten them up and give their meat a very bright pink colour.
What is arsenic and what are its health effects?
Arsenic is one of the most toxic compounds that can be found. Despite their toxicity, inorganic arsenic compounds are naturally present in small quantities on earth. Humans can be exposed to arsenic through food, water and air. Exposure can also occur through skin contact with contaminated soil or water.
The level of arsenic in food is rather low, as it is not added due to its toxicity. But arsenic levels in fish and seafood can be high because fish absorb arsenic from the water in which they live. Fortunately, these are mainly the organic forms of arsenic, which are rather less harmful than its inorganic forms, but fish that absorb significant amounts of inorganic arsenic can be dangerous to humans.
To be continued…