Maryland: "Lawmakers Debate Ban on Arsenic in Chicken Feed"

"Chicken farmers nationwide have stopped feeding their flocks a drug containing arsenic since a 2011 government study suggested the cancer-causing metal may be tainting poultry, but Maryland lawmakers are still struggling with whether to ban the once-widespread practice."

"Health advocates and environmental activists squared off Wednesday in Annapolis with poultry industry officials over a bill that would prohibit feeding chickens and turkeys any additive containing arsenic. Proponents called it a matter of prudence, while opponents warned it could hurt Maryland's leading agricultural sector, already struggling to stay profitable.

A bid to ban arsenic from chicken feed failed to get out of the House Environmental Matters Committee last year. A Pfizer subsidiary that makes the animal drug Roxarsone has since halted sales after a Food and Drug Administration study found low levels of arsenic in the livers of broiler chickens. Before that, most poultry produced nationwide had been routinely fed the medication to kill parasites and boost the birds' growth."

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Baltimore Sun February 8, 2012.

Source: Baltimore Sun, 02/09/2012