The FDA Temporarily Halts the Use of Arsenic for Chickens – Another Reason to Eat Organic

If you are not already eating organic, maybe this news will get you to switch over.

I read on The Center for Food Safety’s website today that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced some very shocking news. Alpharma, a division of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, has agreed to temporarily stop selling its arsenic-containing product, 3-Nitro, for use in chicken, turkeys and swine.

The shocking part of it is that (a) I had no idea that chickens were being fed this toxic poison; and (b) that our government would allow this in the first place.

Apparently, 3-Nitro has been given to chickens since the 1940s and is administered to them for the following reasons:

1) To help control a parasitic disease.

2) To help the chickens grow faster.

3) To help give the chickens a better looking color, so that it appears more edible.

Since this step is a voluntary one by Pfizer, the 3-Nitro could be back in use at some unspeficied time in the future.

In a fascinating study, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) estimated in its 2005 report, Playing Chicken: Avoiding Arsenic in Your Meat (a PDF file), that more than 70% of all U.S. chickens raised for meat are fed arsenic.

This report also provides data as to which restaurant chains and brands had the highest levels of arsenic in their chicken products.

Not surprisingly, organic chicken contained no arsenic. That is because USDA organic rules do not allow it.

The news about the chicken is just another example of how the reckless food policy in our country puts corporate profits ahead of the health of our fellow citizens. This arsenic should be banned permanently and should never have been approved in the first place.

If you know anyone who eats non-organic chicken or feeds it to their kids, please forward this post to them.

Maybe they will make the important to switch to organic — the healthiest and safest food that people can eat and the food that our government needs to make a priority.


  • MommaJam says:

    I am so happy to see your article on arsenic in chicken. I have been following this topic for years now and more people need to know about the practice, especially parents cooking dinner every night for their kids. Thanks for the informative article.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi MommaJam,

      Yes, more people do need to know about this practice. I appreciate your kind words and thanks for your comment.

      Live well,

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *