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Study Finds Arsenic in Chicken

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I recently stumbled across this report on testing of supermarket and fast-food chicken for Arsenic. The findings were concerning, as it appears very clear that arsenic in the chicken feed is making its way into the meat, something previously unstudied by the USDA.

The links below will let you read which brands and restaurants had arsenic in their chicken and there's a link to the full report as well. I like to buy organic chicken because of its typically higher quality, but this has given me an even stronger reason to avoid generics.

http://www.environmentalobservatory.o... (Test Results

)

http://www.environmentalobservatory.o... (FAQ

)

http://www.agobservatory.org/index.cfm
(Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the full report)

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  1. just to play devil's advocate here:

    the difference between arsenic levels in organic and "industrial" chicken is roughly 18 parts per billion.

    i think this report is a little alarmist.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coookie

      kindof like the DHMO thing? lol, most of these reports are a hoax or simply blowing things out of proportion. i have to say i've never heard of anyone dying of arsenic poisoning while eating at KFC

      http://www.snopes.com/science/dhmo.asp

    2. This report would have, at best, received a "D" in any statistics course I ever took. The sampling size per brand is too small and the conclusions, even with 155 samples is outright ridiculous.

      Taking one package of chicken and extrapolating to the entire brand is downright nonsense.

      I think the corporate symbol for this institution with the fancy sounding official name should be Chicken Little.

      1. I just installed an arsenic treatment system for drinking water. The EPA level for drinking water is 10 ppb (lowered from 50 ppb). Detection limits (drinking water) in most labs range from 2-4 ppb. I highly doubt people are ingesting as much chicken as they are drinking water. Also, pH plays a large part in the amount of arsenic that can be detected in labs and pH can vary within 2-3 pH units just transporting samples to a lab.

        I noticed that the deviation in results from that lab report go as high as almost 20 ppb. It's not a very representative analysis.

        For reference, I think 1 ppm is like 1 drop in a 55-gallon drum. 1 ppb would be like 1 drop in 1,000 drums.

        1. Thanks for the perspective. Now I won't be too concerned with the occasional fast-food chicken sandwhich (other than how it tastes!). Though I do have to say that overall quality of organic chicken is usally far better than the generic options.

          1. Arsenic is in many things, natural and otherwise, but even low levels are toxic. Google arsenic poisoning. People do die from arsenic poisoning- it can just take a long, painful time if the amounts are small. Arsenic is not required to raise chickens and I will not be intentionally poisoning myself.