Is the new FDA guideline meant to destroy free range poultry and egg producers? Tell FDA to ban conventionally grown chickens treated with arsenical drugs such as roxarsone and nitarsone
FDA recent guidelines are making it almost impossible for organic farmers to raise free-range chickens and eggs. FDA recent guidelines require that farmers with more than 3,000 egg laying chickens, should keep their hens indoors to avoid bacterial contamination like salmonella and contact with rats, mice, flies, cats and birds.
Although, FDA new guideline is aimed at organic and local producers, a 2010 report by the Atlantic Monthly shows that the industrial-scale factory farming is the main reason behind the outbreak of new bacteria and pathogens including salmonella.
However, FDA new policies are specifically targeting small farmers and local organic producers who have never ever been responsible for any salmonella contamination. In an interview, the co-owner of Fully Belly Farm, Judith Redmond told Atlantic Monthly that “There is a clear difference between farms that harvest 300 acres of a single crop in one day and put it into bags that have a shelf life of 16 days and small farms with 30 acres and 30 different crops that are hand harvested and locally sold in a day or two." She also mentioned that the current policies of FDA have failed to understand that the industrial food system has created this problem (salmonella) at the first place, not organic farmers”.
In a statement, the Cornucopia Institute (an advocacy group for small, organic and family farms), point out that “the contamination of the egg supply can be directly linked to industrial producers that confine millions of birds, a product of massive, centralized breeding, in manure-rich henhouses, and feeding the birds a ration spiked with antibiotics."
However, despite all the reports that shows salmonella is not created by organic farmers, FDA recent policies are targeting organic farmers and require them to cover up their chickens’ space with walls, roof or net which will prohibit the sun and rain from reaching the poor animals.
But FDA recent guidelines are contradictory to what free-range is supposed to be. Keeping chickens indoors or in a space are completely against practices of organic farmers who raise free-range chickens. Also, free range means cage-free, but the new guidelines would require farmers to raise their chickens cage-free but not outdoors!
Tell FDA to ban filthy chickens contaminated with arsenic, hormones and antibiotics:
The good news is that, FDA is accepting comments from public (in regards of new restricted guidelines about free-range chickens) till September 23rd. Please, contact the agency today and ask them to allow organic farmers to keep their free-range chickens outdoor. Tell them to go after the giant industrial chicken producers and non organic farmers: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA_FRDOC_0001-4090
In fact, arsenic is regularly added to the diet of conventionally raised chickens by the food industry on purpose and to your surprise, FDA has already called the arsenic level in conventionally raised chickens within the safety limits.
According to Environmental Health perspectives, the study findings indicate that inorganic arsenic (iAs) accumulates in the breast meat of broiler chickens, as a result of treatment with roxarsone. Roxarsone is an arsenical drug that promotes growth in chickens and makes the appearance of chickens appealing.
Roxarsone is an organic form of arsenic and although it’s less toxic to humans than inorganic ones, the recent study shows that it can transform into inorganic arsenic (iAs) and accumulate on the edible parts of chickens and put people who consume conventionally grown chickens in higher risk of cancer. The results of the study showed that iAs was the highest in cooked conventionally grown chicken and lowest in cooked organically raised chickens.
Although, Roxarsone is banned throughout the US, the sampling of conventionally-grown chickens at John Hopkins University was done before the drug was pulled out of market.
The story of Roxarsone ban goes back to 2011, when FDA discovered that the liver of chickens treated with roxarsone had high levels of inorganic arsenic (a known carcinogen harmful to human’s health). In a nice gesture, the manufacturer of roxarsone, Pfizer, volunteered to pull all the drugs off of the US market (although, it’s still sold in overseas and a similar drug known as roxarsone is still used in conventionally-grown chickens in US).
Although many people believe that they no longer need to be concerned about roxarsone and its harmful side effects (since it’s no longer used in US), the reports show that a similar arsenical drug known as nitarsone is commonly being used in conventionally grown chickens. Similar to roxarsone, nitarsone is used to enhance the growth of chickens and treat intestinal parasites in birds. FDA hasn’t yet banned the use of either roxarsone or nitarsone in conventionally grown chickens.