The Food and Drug Administration released a statement today that some chicken meat may contain small amounts of arsenic, despite agency claims that the actual amount is too insignificant to be dangerous to people who eat it. The findings were discovered in a study developed by the FDA that reported Roxarsone, an ingredient in chicken feed, contained a potentially carcinogenic form of arsenic and was making its way into the livers of animals treated with the drug.
The substance is produced by Pfizer Inc. and officials are pulling it off the market in the United States. The FDA has suspended the drug and many poultry producers have already stopped feeding their birds the ingredient, which was used to kill parasites and promote growth.
The FDA is stressing that people should not stop eating chicken that may have been treated with the drug, as the study was meant to raise “concerns of a very low but completely avoidable exposure to a carcinogen.”
Chickens naturally contain organic arsenic that forms in their livers; however the inorganic form, such as with Roxarsone, is more toxic than the naturally orccuring form.