Unless you are buying antibiotic-free or organic chicken, you probably know that you’re buying chicken that has been fed antibiotics. What you may not know however is that arsenic-based drugs are permitted in poultry production.

Researchers at John Hopkins investigated for that reason how much arsenic chicken meat contained (Nachman KE, et al. 2013). They collected samples from conventional, antibiotic free and organic chicken from grocery stores in 10 US metropolitan areas and tested them for arsenic. As could be expected conventional chicken meat had considerably higher arsenic levels than antibiotic-free and organic chicken meat.

The researchers also concluded that if arsenical drug use was stopped, it would reduce the exposure and burden of arsenic-related disease in chicken consumers. Bladder and lung cancer are two diseases related to arsenic exposure. Organic food are better not necessarily because of higher nutrient content, but because of the things they don’t contain.



Nachman KE, Baron PA, Raber G, Francesconi KA, Navas-Acien A, Love DC. Roxarsone, Inorganic Arsenic, and Other Arsenic Species in Chicken: A U.S.-Based Market Basket Sample. Environ Health Perspect. 2013 May 11. [Epub ahead of print]

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  • Category: News
  • Author: Didrik Sopler
  • Published: 2020-03-28
  • Comments: 0
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