Friday, October 4, 2013

FDA bans three arsenic drugs found in animal feed

1. Strom, Stephanie. (1 Oct 2013) F.D.A. Bans Three Arsenic Drugs Used in Poultry and Pig Feeds. New York Times. B6.

2. Type of issue: Health and Food

3. Level of issue: National

4. About: The F.D.A. banned Pfizer’s three drugs that are used in animal feed after high levels of arsenic were found in animal’s livers.

5. Who this affects: People that eat chicken and pigs raised by Pfizer for the past who knows how long have been consuming animals that have higher than normal levels of arsenic in them. Arsenic is poisonous and often found in contaminated water supply in other countries. Even though the levels in the animals were below the World Health Organization’s standards safety, toxicity is still a concern.

6. My thoughts: Gross. If I had access to a farmer/butcher that raised free range chickens, I would totally buy those instead. The steroids they use to get chickens jacked up do not bother me nearly as much as what they feed those chickens. You are what you eat. Cows that are fed grass compared to cows that are fed corn have different levels of vitamins and essential fatty acids present in their lean tissue (grass fed being the better choice). I feel that out of all the animals used as food in America’s food industry, that the chickens have it the worse. They are kept in the smallest confined spaces. Their beaks are cut off so they don’t peck at each other (they do this to deal with their anxiety). They never see the light of day. Even the packages with writing on them that claim free range chickens are lying because there is no group or organization that actually goes out to the farms and checks that the chickens have free range. Even if the chickens do have access to outside, they are so accustomed to their indoor coop that they don’t venture off. They’re depressed so they stay indoors just like a depressed human would do. The depressed, beakless chickens get sick really easy because they’re confined and crammed next to one another so they have to be given antibiotics otherwise they all get sick and die. When large amounts of antibiotics are constantly given, bacteria can change itself or adapt to be stronger than the antibiotics and then we have outbreaks of superbacteria that are hard to kill (this is what happened with MRSA in humans-same thing happens with chicken). The solution is not to continue this tight confinement but to go back to the old farmer’s way of doing thing where the chickens roamed the grass and ate the worms and dug around in the dirt. If the government supported small business farmers the way they used to then Big Ag wouldn’t be running them out of business and we wouldn’t be forced to buy their chickens. The only way this is probably ever going to stop is if every single person boycotts buying chicken until policy changes.

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