Arsenic in chicken, or just feathers?
April 6th, 2012
07:46 PM ET

Arsenic in chicken, or just feathers?

Is there "Arsenic in Our Chicken?" That's the title of a recent article by New York times columnist Nicholas Kristof that has caused an online feeding frenzy, so to speak.

The answer is yes - sort of. The claim of arsenic appears largely based on a study co-authored by Keeve E. Nachman in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

The study found levels of arsenic in feather meal, which is made from chicken feathers and used as feed for poultry, hogs and fish, among other things.

It turns out there are different kinds of arsenic, not all of which are considered poisonous. And, as the study's authors themselves point out in their paper, "There’s no evidence that such low levels of arsenic harm either chickens or the people eating them."

The National Chicken Council responded in a statement that "chickens in the United States produced for meat are not given 'arsenic' as an additive in chicken feed, or any of the other compounds mentioned in this study."

However, the council admits that some feed used to contain a product called Roxarsone, which is a molecule that includes organic arsenic, not the inorganic type that is considered a poison. The product was removed from market last year and is no longer used in raising U.S. chickens, according to the council.

It's not surprising to find arsenic on bird feathers because organic arsenic is naturally present in the air, soil and water, they said, adding that the testing methods used in the study are extremely sensitive and can detect a chemical or compound that hasn't been used in years, or was never used.

So why all the hullabaloo? Most likely because arsenic, like the ammonia-infused pink slime recently exposed in school and grocery store hamburger meat, does not sound like something we'd like to eat. And because arsenic is something most often associated with poison.

But every substance is poisonous in the right dose – even water.

Read: Arsenic levels in apple and grape juice

"It's a question of concentration," said Tom Neuhaus, professor emeritus of food science at Cal Poly's Food Science and Nutrition Department.

Though Neuhaus is highly critical of mainstream chicken-farming practices,  he is wary of condemning them on the basis of safe levels of arsenic found in feather meal.
"There's arsenic in chocolate and there's arsenic in every every breath of air you breathe, in every drop of water you drink," said Neuhaus who teaches about chocolate among other things at Cal Poly.
"It's not like cesium-137 (a deadly radioactive isotope) - you really don't want to have a single atom."
Post by:
Filed under: Food Safety • Toxic America

soundoff (921 Responses)
  1. 918Kaya Online

    Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There's a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.

    Please let me know. Many thanks

    Look at my website :: 918Kaya Online

    March 18, 2021 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. LmoppEncox

    http://essaywriteris.com/ – cheap custom essays buy essays cheap essay writer online can i hire someone to write my essay

    March 22, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JvqqEncox

    https://dissertationahelp.com/ – dissertation guidelines dissertation writing services illegal doctoral dissertations dissertation team

    March 23, 2021 at 04:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – research paper thesis education thesis writing thesis paper phd no thesis

    March 23, 2021 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. KbdnMile

    https://papersonlinebox.com/ – write my paper for money best paper writing services someone to write my paper for me help with your paper

    March 23, 2021 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Shayne Carrizales

    I am commenting to make you know what a terrific experience my princess experienced viewing your blog. She came to understand several pieces, which included what it is like to have a great coaching spirit to have others completely completely grasp specified multifaceted matters. You actually exceeded people's expectations. I appreciate you for churning out such good, trustworthy, explanatory as well as fun tips on this topic to Julie.


    March 24, 2021 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. BrfgMile

    https://ljcialishe.com/ – cialis strength https://cialisvja.com/ – is generic cialis available https://viagraonlinejc.com/ – how does viagra work https://viagratx.com/ – brand viagra https://buycialisxz.com/ – how much does cialis cost per pill

    March 24, 2021 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Felicia Tremmel

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again


    March 24, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Kayce Gorence

    Hey there I am so grateful I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Aol for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the excellent work.


    March 25, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Everette Strohl

    excellent post.Never knew this, thanks for letting me know.


    March 25, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – law thesis phd thesis writing services thesis advice doctoral thesis database

    March 26, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. GrvCrulk

    https://kloviagrli.com/ – viagra for men price https://vigedon.com/ – what is viagra https://llecialisjaw.com/ – how to take cialis https://jwcialislrt.com/ – lisinopril and cialis https://jecialisbn.com/ – viagra and cialis

    March 30, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Billygem

    zithromax: buy zithromax online zithromax for sale online
    https://zithromaxproff.com/# buy zithromax 1000 mg online

    March 30, 2021 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – writing the thesis phd thesis writing thesis template doctoral thesis writing

    March 31, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Nelda Gauna

    This was actually a really good review of Clixsense and at first I thought….just another scammy way to participate in surveys. You have actually piqued my interest in this an I plan on joining. Heck, while I am sitting at the computer working, I can have the browser open for it. Seems easy enough. I also agree with the paid offers. I don’t think I am going to bother with those.


    April 5, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – thesisacloud.com write thesis thesisacloud.com phd thesis writing service

    April 8, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Cosmos pendant light

    That is really interesting, You're an excessively professional blogger.

    I have joined your feed and look ahead to searching for
    extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your
    site in my social networks

    April 11, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. vardenafil 10 mg

    vardenafil 20 mg tablets https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil coupon

    April 11, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. lederam manta cosmos pendant - 3 type

    Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

    April 13, 2021 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. canada viagra scam

    anyone order viagra from canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ how much cheper is viagra in canada

    April 13, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Denese

    We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with useful info to work
    on. You've performed an impressive activity and our entire group will be thankful
    to you.

    April 15, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. tadalafil 60 mg for sale

    tadalafil max dose https://elitadalafill.com/ buy tadalafil us

    April 18, 2021 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. nuura miira wall lamp

    Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe the whole thing
    is available on net?

    April 19, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. alprostadil gel online

    alprostadil cream for sale https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil cream on ebay

    April 20, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. canadian pharmacy 5 mg daily cialis

    canadian generic cialis safe https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis canadian discounts

    April 20, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. cost of sildenafil in mexico

    generic sildenafil in us https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil citrate tablets

    April 20, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Research

    187710 914817There is noticeably plenty of dollars to comprehend this. I suppose you created certain nice points in functions also. 299897

    April 21, 2021 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. https://www.sellswatches.com/

    820854 956082I like this weblog so considerably, saved to fav. 219407

    April 22, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. suspension screen murano

    I do not even know the way I finished up right here, however I believed this publish used to be
    good. I do not recognise who you're however certainly you're going to a famous blogger for those who are not
    already. Cheers!

    April 23, 2021 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RfvbZisse

    truth behind generic cialis https://cileve.com/ cialis and alcohol symptoms

    April 23, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. crescent ceiling light

    I always spent my half an hour to read this webpage's articles everyday along
    with a cup of coffee.

    April 23, 2021 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Interior Designer Near Me


    April 24, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. real estate for sale bayview idaho


    April 24, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. GvdbCrulk

    cialis tadalafil treat https://boxtadafil.com/ mint pharmaceuticals tadalafil reviews

    April 24, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Forklift Service


    April 24, 2021 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RfvbZisse

    generic cialis cheap https://cileve.com/ whats better cialis or viagra

    April 25, 2021 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. JbsdEncox

    canadian pharmacy drugs online http://onlinecanda21.com/ best canadian prescription prices

    April 25, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv interior repair

    You are so cool! I do not think I've truly read a single thing like that before. So great to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that's needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    April 25, 2021 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Alignment California

    Hi there! This article couldn’t be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I'll forward this information to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


    April 25, 2021 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. top erection pills

    top erectile dysfunction doctors in tx https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ does erectile dysfunction destroy marriages

    April 25, 2021 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. LhdvZisse

    online doctor cialis http://asciled.com/ cialis black brand

    April 25, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. GvdbCrulk

    liquid tadalafil citrate dosage http://boxtadafil.com/ – mint tadalafil tadalafil 5mg once a day

    April 26, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. AbdgEncox

    buy prescription drugs without doctor http://canadianeve21.com/ – cialis daily Aricept

    April 26, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. AbdgEncox

    Nimotop https://canadianeve21.com/ Lexapro

    April 26, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. LrbsEncox

    difference between levitra viagra https://uslevitraanna.com/ cheap generic levitra online

    April 26, 2021 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. is it legal to bring viagra back to canada from mexico

    do you need a prescription for viagra in canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ generic viagra shipping from canada

    April 26, 2021 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. LrbsEncox

    levitra generique 40 mg https://uslevitraanna.com/ generic levitra canada

    April 27, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. LhdvZisse

    how can i buy cialis online http://asciled.com/ drugstore1st cialis

    April 27, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. FbsfEncox

    pharmacy cheap no prescription https://uspharmus.com/ canadian pharmacy uk delivery

    April 27, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. priligy

    buy priligy canada buy priligy usa

    April 27, 2021 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Leave a Reply to Sprinter Diesel Repair


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.