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ARSENIC IN FOOD SUPPLY

 

FDA approved arsenic-based poultry feeds permeate the food chain, arsenic poisoning symptoms tied to ADD, fibromyalgia, Type II diabetes, cancer...

 

August 2011 | TheDogPress.com

Nel Liquorman, Investigative Reporter

 

HOW ARSENIC GETS INTO DOG FOODThe FDA believed that most of the arsenic would be excreted in poultry droppings.  That sounded good - if you discount the arsenic remaining in the flesh which is then eaten by humans and their pets.  But it isn’t just in poultry.  FDA considers processed feathers and poultry barn waste (including feces) an acceptable source of protein for cattle feed, even though it has been shown to contain arsenic ingested by the poultry.

 

This practice has generated tremendous controversy over the last two years.  The good news is Pfizer’s subsidiary Alpharma, agreed to take their arsenic drugs off the USA market within 30 days of their June 8, 2011 news release.  The bad news is that trillions of animals and humans have already ingested trace elements of arsenic which sends up red flags for consumers and lawmakers alike.

 

Arsenic Based Drugs In The Food Supply

The generic names are Monesin and Roxarsone.  Monensin ingestion by horses, mature turkeys, and guinea fowl has been fatal and the label warnings are worrisome to humans:

 

  Drug overdose or lack of water intake may result in leg weakness or paralysis

  Withdraw 5 days before slaughter

  Keep out of reach of children

  In mixing avoid inhaling dust

  Avoid contact of product with skin, eyes and clothing

  Wash thoroughly after handling

  Poison if swallowed

 

Arsenic Poisoning Symptoms

Death is the final symptom but depending on the duration and amount ingested, symptoms of arsenic poisoning include:

 

  malaise, fatigue, unexplained aches and pains, dizziness and weakness

  neurological symptoms including memory loss, disorientation

  blood disorders including anemia and blood sugar problems

  Listed also are several forms of cancer

 

Many arsenic poisoning symptoms are amazingly like those for fibromyalgia, a set of symptoms finally given a name after decades of medical professionals unilaterally dismissing complaints, especially from women. Doctors did not believe fibromyalgia patients had real problems because there are no definitive X-rays or laboratory findings but finally, the medical community gave a name to something they could neither explain nor cure.  Today, the similarity between fibromyalgia and arsenic poisoning is inescapable.

 

As cancer rates spiral off the graph, we must consider arsenic (a heavy metal) in the food supply a contributing factor.  Arsenic would also explain the inexplicable epidemic of ADD, behavioral and developmental problems in children?  And the extraordinary rise in Type II Diabetes.  Doctors acknowledge many health problems are diet-related but so far, no studies seem eager to link fibromyalgia, cancer, behavioral problems and diabetes to arsenic in the food chain.

 

TheDogPress.com can only provide case facts.  It is up to consumers to demand that independently-funded scientists and medical professionals examine the effects of arsenic in the food chain, including but not limited to poultry, fish, milk and meat producing animals.

 

Events Leading up to Withdrawal of Arsenic Compounds

  September 26, 2009, U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the Poison-Free Poultry Act of 2009, or H.R. 3624.  There appears to have been no committee report or vote on this bill.

  September 2009, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) began a study of effects of 3-NITRO® on 100 chickens.

  December 8, 2009, Center for Food Safety (CSF) and the institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) filed a petition with the FDA calling for immediate withdrawal of all animal drugs containing arsenic compounds used in human food animals.

  July 6, 2010, 2 Utah children tested positive for arsenic - traced to backyard chickens kept for egg production.  While no arsenic was listed on the chicken feed label, the chicken feed itself tested positive for arsenic.

  February 2011, FDA’s CVM study that began in September 2009 was completed and there was a final report.

  June 8, 2011, FDA news release states: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Alpharma, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. will voluntarily suspend U.S. sales of the animal drug 3-Nitro (Roxarsone), a product used by poultry producers since the 1940’s."

 

Pressures from many sources brought about the withdrawal of this risky product only four months after the FDA’s final report.  Experts weighed in, observing that excretions from treated chickens caused contamination of land and ground water as poultry waste is used in lawn and garden fertilizers.  Even so, the FDA, in its final report indicates that we don’t have to stop consuming arsenic laced chicken “products” because arsenic levels are low.

 

That is a comfort akin to the fox shouting up to the house “don’t worry about the cackling, the chickens are fine."

 

Small Children and Pets At Most Risk

We know that food chain contamination affects the smallest beings first.  That would be our children and household pets.  Heavy metals, of which arsenic is but one, accumulate in the body, especially when regularly consumed, whether it is from the chicken food or chicken fed to our pets.

 

Parents of children with developmental or behavioral problems need to know about the risk of  arsenic poisoning from eggs  and consider having the children tested. If it should be determined that arsenic caused those problems, feathers will hit the fan!

 

Here is a true and frightening example of pervasive arsenic poisoning in children.  Last July, the Utah State Health Department determined that two children with nearly 100% higher than normal levels of arsenic were likely affected by arsenic-laden eggs. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the arsenic's origins stumped doctors until a toxicologist who examined the children's residence “pinpointed the poison's unlikely source—the family's backyard chickens." Despite warnings not to feed the arsenic based drugs to laying hens, testing revealed arsenic compounds in "laying mash."  If you decide to raise your own eggs as many forward-thinking families are now doing, get it in writing that the laying mash is free of arsenic or feed them from your kitchen and free-range.

 

The pet food industry uses tons of chicken. The process for making chicken meal concentrates deadly fluoride{1} also concentrates arsenic when it is present in the chicken.  We assume that the FDA gave little or no thought to pet foods made from poisoned chickens.  So far, infertility or health problems have not been traced to pet food containing chickens laced with arsenic.  As an aside, there are also arsenic compounds in heartworm medication.

 

 In 2004 Consumer Reports stated "no detectable arsenic in our samples of muscle" but found "A few of our chicken-liver samples has an amount that according to EPA standards could cause neurological problems in a child who ate 2 ounces of cooked liver per week or in an adult who ate 5.5 ounces per week."  This frightening fact was not publicized, even as health-conscious people swear off “red meat."

 

Pet Food Poisoning: Arsenic may be responsible for fertility and other health problems that dog breeders blame on dog food. While the arsenic drug marketed by Pfizer was the first approved for use by the FDA and is the most common, there are others such as;  nitarsone, arsanilic acid, and carbarsone.  Warnings are similar but stipulate “dangerous for ducks, geese, and dogs.

 

NEL ON RECALLED, RECYCLED, COUNTERFEIT DOG FOODConsumers must insist that arsenic drugs go out of production and never come back. Remember that instead of discontinuing the Bovine Growth Hormone{2}, Monsanto sold it to another drug company and it can still be used, keeping it in the food chain. Take action to protect our food supply, and please be sure to thank consumer groups and retailers who are doing their part on our behalf.

 

{1} Fluoride In Pet Food, A Bone-Cracking Diet!

{2} Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) Cover-up

1108  http://www.thedogpress.com/dogfood/arsenic-in-food-supply-nl-11081702.asp

 

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