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7 Dangers of Eating Factory Farmed Meat

Antibiotics & meatCommercially raised animals, especially chickens and cows, contain excessive levels of several different dangerous chemicals in an attempt to keep animals "healthy" and to artificially increase their size.  These chemicals include antibiotics, arsenic, tranquilizers, steroids, growth hormones, medicines, vaccines, and parasiticides.

When we eat this meat, we are eating degraded meat as traces of these chemicals pass into our system.  Experts are also citing antibiotic usage in factory farming as a contributing factor to the steadily rising rates of antibiotic resistance in the US.

These contaminants pass directly from the meat
into your body when you consume it.

When we eat factory-farmed meat (or feed it to our pets), here is the chemical concoction that often comes with it:

Our Pet's Food At Risk

The public trusts that the government will do all it can to protect their pets from dangerous pet foods on the shelf.  This is far from the case.  Although largely unknown to the general public, not only has the FDA done little to address the long-standing issue of contaminated jerky products from China which have caused thousands of pets to become sick, but they also allow the following items to be legally used in pet foods:

  • Recalled foods
  • Expired foods
  • Meat from diseased animals
  • Foods contaminated with bird, rodent, or roach excrement

Here are their policies:

FDA Compliance Policies & Pet Food

CPG Sec. 675.100 Diversion of Contaminated Food for Animal Use
“The FDA does not object to the diversion to animal feed of human food adulterated with rodent, roach, or bird excreta.”

CPG Sec. 690.300 Canned Pet Food
“Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law.  It will be considered fit for animal consumption.”

CPG Sec. 675.400 Rendered Animal Feed Ingredients
“No regulatory action will be considered for animal feed ingredients resulting from the ordinary rendering process of industry, including those using animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, provided they are not otherwise in violation of the law.  Compliance Policy Guide 7126.08 recognizes the AAFCO definitions as generally constituting the common or usual names for animal feed ingredients conforming in origin and content to these definitions.  Included are such products as poultry by-product meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, and fish meal.”

Finally... No More Arsenic in Poultry

When it comes to chicken feed, arsenic is a common occurrence.  Chicken feed contains roxarsone, which is an arsenic-based food additive.  When chickens eat this feed, they pass the toxin on to their eggs.  Roxarsone was approved by the FDA in 1944 as a way of preventing chickens from becoming ill.  Some of the chicken waste is also used as fertilizer, and is not properly disposed of, leading to arsenic in soil, water, and crops. 

Feeding arsenic, which is an extremely toxic poison, to a popular food item such as chicken is dangerous.  Arsenic exposure is linked to serious health conditions including cancer (skin, bladder, kidney, liver, and lungs), as well as endocrine and neurological disorders. 

  • A 46 lb. 6 yr old child who eats 2 eggs per day would accumulate 506 mcg of arsenic per week (far more than the recommended minimum).  According to The Salt Lake Tribune, roxarsone and other arsenic-based substances are frequently added to poultry and swine feeds.  Two area children were found to have much higher than average levels of arsenic (75-100% higher than the limit).  The meat producers believe the additives, in conjunction with antibiotics, help animals combat disease and grow meatier.  While the meat industry tries to claim that most of the arsenic is excreted in the chicken waste, a Utah Health Department study has found evidence to the contrary.(4)

  • A 2004 study showed that fast-food chicken contained increased levels of arsenic, and more than half of the store-bought chicken tested contained arsenic. The American Chemical Society notes that about 70% of broiler chickens sold in America are fed roxarsone. The agricultural industry uses about 2.2 million pounds of roxarsone each year.(5)

Arsenic poses a threat to public health and pollutes our environment.  Although many public figures stand for banning arsenic in the poultry industry, disturbingly, Republican Sen. E. J. Pipkin called the ban attempt an "assault" on the profitable poultry industry.  He stated that industry-funded studies support the FDA's contention that the feed additive is safe and claims that voicing concerns of arsenic in poultry sends an "anti-farming" message to the state's poultry industry. 

In what has become a typical response from the FDA on dangerous chemicals in our foods, until recently it had chosen not to ban arsenic as a food additive.  Finally, after food-safety groups threatened to sue, (and almost 4 years after the agency was presented with a petition asking that arsenic-based drugs be withdrawn), the FDA decided to act on the issue.  The nation's first statewide ban on the use of additives in chicken feed containing the toxic additive was among a dozen new state laws that took effect Jan. 1, 2013 (in part due to arsenic also being found in rice).  The FDA announced it will remove three arsenic-containing drug types used to treat livestock, most notably chickens.  This latest move on arsenic in the food supply will result in what we hope to be an almost total elimination of arsenic from animal feed. 

Buying organic chicken and chicken eggs eliminates this arsenic concern completely.

 


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