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Old 05-02-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
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Warning about chicken

This will encourage me to spend the extra for organic chicken.

Guess What Drugs and Illegal Substances Are Showing Up in Chicken? | Care2 Causes

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Old 05-02-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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Doesn't surprise me one iota. When I tell people that I pay $20 for an organic, free range chicken, they think I'm nuts. They usually counter that they can buy a chicken for $6 at the supermarket. But what people don't realize is that they're also buying (and consuming) everything that chicken has been fed or injected with.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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I have pretty much given up on meat, poultry and fish.

When I do buy I try to shop local and as close to the source as possible.

The whole situation is very sad.

I hope CWS4322 can keep the girls off drugs when they move to the city.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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Traces of the arsenic compound Roxarsone, for example, were present in almost all of the samples. Farms administer arsenic to chickens to turn their flesh just the right shade of pink that consumers find attractive. Yet, in June 2011, the FDA gave Pfizer 30 days to discontinue selling Roxarsone, a proven carcinogen. So why is it still showing up in our chickens?

Other substances that the scientists found include acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, Benadryl, an antihistamine, even Prozac, an antidepressant. Farms feed chickens these mood-altering drugs to reduce their anxiety. Chickens are anxious because they are bred on overcrowded and filthy factory farms. Stressed-out birds develop meat that is tough and unpalatable, so they need to be sedated. Yet, chickens on tranquilizers sleep all the time and do not eat enough. So they are given high doses of caffeine (which was also found in the feather meal) to keep them awake at night to feed and fatten up.
That sounds pretty extreme! In fact it's sounding a bit too extreme for me. Is this site mainstream media? Is it some sort of advocacy site? Or is it even some sort of nutcase site like PETA?

I can't imagine the FDA allowing US chicken producers to feed chickens arsenic to make the meat look good to the public, nor can I imagine them allowing producers to dose their chickens with Prozac to get happy fat chickens. It even sounds extreme to me that any but a few chicken producers would engage in those activities due to risk of getting caught and prosecuted. I'd be astonished if the big business chicken producers would take that risk.

So I'm dubious about the accuracy of this article. Skeptical in fact. It would be good to have some corroboration from mainstream news media.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
That sounds pretty extreme! In fact it's sounding a bit too extreme for me. Is this site mainstream media? Is it some sort of advocacy site? Or is it even some sort of nutcase site like PETA?

I can't imagine the FDA allowing US chicken producers to feed chickens arsenic to make the meat look good to the public, nor can I imagine them allowing producers to dose their chickens with Prozac to get happy fat chickens. It even sounds extreme to me that any but a few chicken producers would engage in those activities due to risk of getting caught and prosecuted. I'd be astonished if the big business chicken producers would take that risk.

So I'm dubious about the accuracy of this article. Skeptical in fact. It would be good to have some corroboration from mainstream news media.
It does sound extreme. Did you look at the links in that article. The research comes from John's Hopkins. I consider that to be fairly reliable.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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The researchers at JHU did point out they did not test any MUSCLE tissue, only feather meal. Meaning they didn't test any meat.

And look at the bright side.. it was likely organic arsenic they used.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
It does sound extreme. Did you look at the links in that article. The research comes from John's Hopkins. I consider that to be fairly reliable.
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The researchers at JHU did point out they did not test any MUSCLE tissue, only feather meal. Meaning they didn't test any meat.
I tried to find the full research article but only found the abstract. Apparently you need to be a paid member or subscribe to something. Perhaps I could find it at my local public library or local university. But just to quote part of the abstract:

Quote:
Antimicrobials used in poultry production have the potential to bioaccumulate in poultry feathers but available data are scarce. Following poultry slaughter, feathers are converted by rendering into feather meal and sold as fertilizer and animal feed, thereby providing a potential pathway for reentry of drugs into the human food supply. We analyzed feather meal (n = 12 samples) for 59 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) using EPA method 1694 employing liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). All samples tested positive and six classes of antimicrobials were detected, with a range of two to ten antimicrobials per sample. Caffeine and acetaminophen were detected in 10 of 12 samples....
They tested only twelve samples! The abstract didn't say what their sample choosing methodology was, presumably that was stated in the full article.

I'll admit I'm no academic expert, just a measly BS degree, but 12 samples does not sound like a comprehensive scientific study to me, nor even hardly significant. It's enough to get alarmed about. It's not enough to draw any conclusions, not in my humble opinion.

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And look at the bright side.. it was likely organic arsenic they used.
I presume you forgot the smiley!

I'm sure you know this but just for those who don't: Arsenic is an atomic element. The typical arsenic pesticide (I googled this) is arsenic trioxide, As2O3. Neither quite meet my criteria to be called 'organic.' You need a little carbon to turn that into an organic chemical, although presumably our food industry and FDA require a bit more than hydrocarbons to be labeled as organic.

So like I said I presume you were being humorous.

Something a bit more strange, evidently ground up feather meal is used as a livestock feed? (And fertilizer.) I'm astonished that there is any nutrient value in feathers. (Wikipedia states feather meal has nitrogen which presumably explains its merit as a fertilizer.)
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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It's just sooooo easy to make people run screaming for the exits with half-baked interpretations of scientific studies "explained" by people who know little or nothing about the real purpose of the studies and who badly want something to further their cause or fill some Web content space.

Feather meal is an agricultural product. Its virtue is nitrogen content. It is indeed made from feathers, but they are highly processed to make the meal. Feather meal can qualify as Organic (using big "O" to denote the food production meaning - there's little 'o', the chemical technical term). To be certified Organic, the whole production chain would have to be similarly certified, including the feed fed to the chickens who grew the feathers.

Feathers are dead. Like finger and toe hails and hair, the only living part is at the base under the skin. Being dead tissue, all of these serve as records of the organism's environment. Want to know if Napoleon was poisoned? Test the sample of hair that was saved by someone present at the death. Those dead tissues tend to accumulate trace materials that are no longer present in the living tissue.

Consider this. Do you think the antibiotic you were prescribed last year is still floating around in you? Of course not. That would be a disaster in terms of the kind of resistant bacteria that would be killing you before too long. Is it detectable in your hair? Possibly. It's doing no harm there at all.

And remember that finding traces of medications and chemicals in some chicken product does not mean someone is knowingly feeding it to the chickens. The number of things that can be detected in city water is amazing, and it includes all sorts of medications. And do you really think a chicken outfit even has time in a production chicken's short life to use ten antibiotics, as the study report cites?

You can also feed feather meal back into meat animals. But the study says nothing at all about what that means, since the neither tested muscle tissue nor explored the sources of the detected products.

This is a lame article, even by the standards of the hand-wringing frantic crowd of professional warners.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post

I hope CWS4322 can keep the girls off drugs when they move to the city.
You made me LOL!!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:47 PM   #10
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It's just sooooo easy to make people run screaming for the exits with half-baked interpretations of scientific studies "explained" by people who know little or nothing about the real purpose of the studies and who badly want something to further their cause or fill some Web content space.
But... But... It's from John's Hopkins! I recall a class I took once, described as "how to lie using statistics." As I pointed out earlier, the only credence in the article was upon the name of the venue rather than any facts exposed in the study.

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Feather meal is an agricultural product. -- To be certified Organic, the whole production chain would have to be similarly certified, including the feed fed to the chickens who grew the feathers.
Another good point. Unfortunately I see no reason why feather meal cannot be used in the production chain of products that do not claim to be 'organic' (in the FDA sense).

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And remember that finding traces of medications and chemicals in some chicken product does not mean someone is knowingly feeding it to the chickens. The number of things that can be detected in city water is amazing, and it includes all sorts of medications. And do you really think a chicken outfit even has time in a production chicken's short life to use ten antibiotics, as the study report cites?
Indeed, and I wonder how you and I and our fellow citizens would fare if we were individually tested for the same pollution in our own bodies or fingernails and hair.

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This is a lame article, even by the standards of the hand-wringing frantic crowd of professional warners.
Both you and I agree that there is little reason to place any credence in the article quoted/linked in the OP.

The sky is falling... Run, run!!!
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