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Maryland Bans Arsenic in Poultry Feed

January 3, 2013

1 Min Read
Maryland Bans Arsenic in Poultry Feed

ANNAPOLISOn Jan. 1, 2013, Maryland became the nation's first state to ban the use, sale or distribution of any commercial feed intended for use as poultry feed that contains roxarsone or any other additive that contains arsenic. The prohibition, however, does not apply to commercial feed intended for use as poultry feed that contains histostat.

For decades, poultry producers have used roxarsone, or 3-Nitro as sold by Pfizer, Inc., a subsidiary of Alpharma, to control parasites that cause coccidiosis, a common avian disease affecting poultry. Roxarsone also was used for increased rate of weight gain, improved feed efficiency, and improved pigmentation," according to FDA.

In June 2011, Pfizer suspended sales of roxarsone after an FDA study of 100 broilers detected inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, at higher levels in chickens treated with 3-Nitro compared with untreated chickens. FDA indicated the levels of inorganic arsenic detected, however, were very low, and that continuing to eat chicken as sales of roxarsone were suspended did not pose a health risk.

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